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The Texas Heartbeat Act – What’s Your Point?



There is no issue more “fundamental”, more “intrinsic” and ultimately, more emotional than that of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

Here in the Lone Star State, Republican lawmakers first in the Texas Senate and this week in the Texas House, have voted to dramatically turn back the legal timetable on that decision.

If signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott – no abortion will be allowed after the detection of a “fetal heartbeat” which we are told appears as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.  This week outnumbered Texas democrats offered ferocious opposition.

This week’s  What’s Your Point panel, Bob Price, Associate Editor Breitbart Texas, Gary Polland, conservative commentator, Sue Lovell, former Houston City Council member, Tony Diaz, Librotraficante and Marcus Davis, host of Fish, Grits and Politics.

The legislation would also allow “just about anyone” to bring a civil lawsuit against anybody they believe enabled an abortion including health care providers.

“Once that heartbeat is detected, that life is protected,” said Rep. Shelby Slawson, the House sponsor of the measure said before the bill passed 81-63. “For far too long, abortion has meant the end of a beating heart.”

A unique provision in the Texas bill prohibits state officials from enforcing the ban.

Instead, it allows anyone, even someone outside of Texas, to sue a doctor or anyone else who may have helped someone get an abortion after the time limit, and seek financial damages. Supporters of the measure hope that provision would survive the legal challenges that have doomed similar laws elsewhere..

“The Texas Heartbeat Act is novel in approach, allowing for citizens to hold abortionists accountable through private lawsuits. The bill does not punish women who obtain abortions,” Texas Right to Life said in a statement.

But critics say that provision would allow abortion opponents to flood the courts with lawsuits to harass doctors, patients, nurses, domestic violence counselors, a friend who drove a woman to a clinic, or even a parent who paid for a procedure.

And they argue that it would violate state constitutional requirements that civil lawsuits can be filed only by impacted parties. Under the bill, a person filing the lawsuit would not need any personal connection to the abortion in question.

The House version prevents a rapist, or someone who got a woman pregnant through incest, from filing a lawsuit over a late abortion.

The bill has been opposed by medical groups.

“Regardless of our personal beliefs about abortion, as licensed physicians in Texas, we implore you to not weaponize the judicial branch against us to make a political point,” a group of 200 doctors wrote to House leadership on Monday.

Texas will soon be one of the toughest states in America to legally terminate a pregnancy.