#AceNewsReport – Sept.01: The Texas law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, would prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks and before most women even know they’re pregnant.
#AceDailyNews says that at least 12 other states have enacted bans on abortion early in pregnancy and if allowed to remain in force, the law would be the most dramatic restriction on abortion rights in the United States since the high court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion across the country in 1973 after the so-called “Heartbeat Act” was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in May.
Associated Press2 hours ago
Abortion providers who are asking the Supreme Court to step in said the law would rule out 85% of abortions in Texas and force many clinics to close. Planned Parenthood is among the abortion providers that have stopped scheduling abortions beyond six weeks from conception.
At least 12 other states have enacted bans on abortion early in pregnancy, but all have been blocked from going into effect.
What makes the Texas law different is its unusual enforcement scheme. Rather than have officials responsible for enforcing the law, private citizens are authorized to sue abortion providers and anyone involved in facilitating abortions. Among other situations, that would include anyone who drives a woman to a clinic to get an abortion. Under the law, anyone who successfully sues another person would be entitled to at least $10,000.
Abortion opponents who wrote the law also made it difficult to challenge the law in court, in part because it’s hard to know whom to sue.
Texas has long had some of the nation’s toughest abortion restrictions, including a sweeping law passed in 2013 that the Supreme Court eventually struck down but not before more than half of the state’s 40-plus abortion clinics closed.
Lawmakers also are moving forward in an ongoing special session in Texas with proposed new restrictions on medication abortion, a method using pills that accounts for roughly 40% of abortions in the U.S.
But rights groups, including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), then requested that the Supreme Court block the legislation.
In the early hours of Wednesday, the ACLU confirmed that the court had “not responded to our request”, adding: “Access to almost all abortion has just been cut off for millions of people.”
The group, which says that up to 90% of abortions in Texas take place after six weeks of pregnancy, described the development as “blatantly unconstitutional”.
The US women’s health group Planned Parenthood also condemned the ban, tweeting: “No matter what, we aren’t backing down and we are still fighting. Everyone deserves access to abortion.”
The Supreme Court still has the power to overturn the ban at a later stage.
What does the law say?
Since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade, US women have had the right to an abortion until a foetus is viable – that is, able to survive outside the womb. This is usually between 22 and 24 weeks into a pregnancy.
The so-called Texas Heartbeat Act prohibits abortions after six weeks of a pregnancy – at a point when many women do not know they are pregnant. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has said the term “heartbeat” is misleading, and that what is being detected at this stage is “a portion of the foetal tissue that will become the heart as the embryo develops”.
The Texas law enforces its ban with an uncommon approach: it empowers any private citizen to sue anyone who “aids and abets” an illegal abortion.
The legislation makes an exception in the case of medical emergency, which requires written proof from a doctor, but not for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Sept.01: 2021:
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