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Gov. Abbott Expected To Sign ‘Heartbeat Bill’ Into Law, Banning Abortions At 6 Weeks



DALLAS, TX – State lawmakers gave final approval to SB 8, a bill that would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected in the fetus — as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The bill makes an exception for medical emergencies, but not for cases of rape or incest.

The bill now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott, who said he intends to sign it into law. In other states, similar “heartbeat bills” have been passed but have been mostly blocked by the courts.

The new legislation will allow any person to file a civil lawsuit against an abortion provider or anyone who helps a person get an abortion.

Opponents say this legislation is too broad and could open the door for legal harassment and unlimited lawsuits.

Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Dallas) spoke out against the legislation on the House floor last week.

“What damages are you suffering and what type of money should be paid when you had nothing to do with whatever happened between the doctor, this woman, this entire situation?” Crockett said.

Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) raised a concern that these lawsuits could become a tactic to solicit $10,000 from a stranger without having any understanding of their situation.

“It’s a lottery, basically,” Collier said.

The measure also faced opposition from lawyers, doctors and religious leaders across the state.

An open letter signed by members of the Texas legal community mentioned concerns about the broad nature of the bill.

“These bills add as potential defendants any person who merely formed an intent to help a patient, which could include donors and supporters of abortion funds and clinics, and could make individuals liable before they took any action at all,” the document states.

The bill’s author Sen. Brian Hughes (R-Mineola) said the measure is about protecting life. Abortion rights advocates say the bill is one of the most restrictive in the country.