- This is the most restrictive abortion law in the nation
that's been allowed to go into effect.
- Millions of children lose their right to life
every year because of abortion.
- The Texas law says
that a woman can't have an abortion after six weeks,
or when a "fetal heartbeat" is detected,
but instead of government officials enforcing this law,
it leaves it up to private citizens to do so,
to bring civil litigation against anyone
who aids or abets such an abortion.
- The most pernicious thing about the Texas law,
it sort of creates a vigilante system.
- While the woman herself would not be the subject
of these lawsuits,
anyone else, a friend, a family member,
the person who does the abortion, is liable.
The person who brings it can recover $10,000 or more,
as well as lawyer costs.
Abortion providers and civil rights groups
challenged this law,
saying that it was unconstitutional
because Roe v Wade allows a woman
the right to an abortion up to the point of fetal viability.
In other words, it says states can't put restrictions on that
right that cause an undue burden.
Providers and civil rights groups
went to court to try to stop the law from going into effect,
but this law was basically designed
to keep federal courts from intervening,
and it says that those kind of challenges
will have to come in state court,
and so a federal court declined to stop the law,
and then the providers and the clinics
went to the Supreme Court,
asking the Supreme Court to step in.
Republican-led states have been passing
all sorts of restrictions on abortion,
even to the point of saying that abortion
would not be allowed in those states,
but all of those can't go into effect
because of the Supreme Court's decision
nearly 50 years ago in Roe v Wade.
But still, states are passing these laws.
They see them as test cases.
They want to get the issue before the Supreme Court again.
Texas is the first state
to actually get its law implemented,
but there is already efforts in other states to copy
what Texas has done because of its success
in avoiding federal court intervention.
Georgia is talking about it.
Florida is talking about it.
And so I think that we'll see more and more of these.
Abortion providers have said
that the Supreme Court's decision
to let this law go into effect
effectively ends Roe v Wade protections in Texas.
And there is something to be said about that,
at least until the state courts there have looked at the law,
but there is a case coming that directly asks the Supreme Court
to review its decision in Roe vs Wade.
That's a law from Mississippi --
it would restrict abortions after 15 weeks.
That's in direct conflict with Roe's guarantee
that a woman has a right to an abortion before fetal viability.
The court will hear that case in late fall,
and it is one in which the issue of whether to overturn Roe
will be presented quite directly to this newly energized
conservative majority on the Supreme Court.