Texas Supreme Court rejects abortion ban challenge
The heartbeat act keeps beating
On Friday, the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the state’s Heartbeat Act, which bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. The New York Times reported.
Steve Vladeck, law professor at the University of Texas, wrote on Twitter that the court’s decision “closes the last backdoor” to legal challenges by abortion providers.
Speak Timesthe Heartbeat Act was designed to escape judicial review by federal courts, as bans on abortions before the point of fetal viability – around 23 weeks – are considered unconstitutional under Roe vs. Wade (1973). Texas law allows private citizens to sue anyone who “aids or encourages” a woman to obtain an abortion. Therefore, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the government and medical licensing officials cannot be sued for the law because they play no role in its enforcement.
Commentators from across the political spectrum have expressed concerns about the enforcement mechanism. Hannah Cox of the Right-Libertarian Foundation for Economic Education tweeted that the same legal workaround could be used to threaten “gun rights nationwide and a number of other civil liberties.”
However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted that the court’s decision is a “major victory” and that the law “has saved thousands of unborn babies”.
A New York Times An analysis released Sunday suggested that even after accounting for out-of-state abortions and abortion pills delivered by mail, the number of abortions among Texas women has likely declined by about 10% since the entry into force of the law in September.
Michael New, a business professor at the Catholic University of America, suggested in National exam that the decline could be more drastic because the studies cited by the Times assume that every woman who got abortion pills had an abortion. “Some women,” he argued, “might just have wanted to have abortion pills available in case of an unplanned future pregnancy.”