September 1, 2021
Today, the Texas Heartbeat Act went into effect. It prohibits abortions “if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child … or failed to perform a test to detect a fetal heartbeat.” It provides a narrow exception for medical emergencies.
And that's not all the pro-life progress Texas has made recently.
In 2017, the Texas Dismemberment Abortion Ban was signed into law, but due to resulting court challenges, it has never gone into effect.
Last month, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld the state’s 2017 law, reversing previous court rulings that blocked it.
“It has long been illegal to kill capital prisoners by dismemberment .… It is also illegal to dismember living animals,” the court said. "The state urges that [the law] would simply extend the same protection to fetuses.” The decision is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
"This is a brilliant analogy by the 5th Circuit," says Susan S. Arnall, Esq., Director of Outreach and Engagement. "It puts the issue of life front and center by asking whether an unborn baby -- a 'fetus' -- is a living thing."
"Texas is leading the nation to protect the right to life. It is a great example to other states, and to the pro-life community as a whole," says Arnall.