On Tuesday, more than twenty abortion providers filed a lawsuit against Texas officials in order to block a recently passed bill that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Fetal heartbeats are typically detected around the sixth week of pregnancy.
In May, as Christian Headlines reported, Governor Greg Abbot signed a heartbeat abortion bill into law, prohibiting most abortions after a heartbeat is detected.
According to CBN News, the legislation also allows anyone, even outside of Texas, to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps someone get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Those winning the lawsuits could be awarded up to $10,000 in damages.
According to a press release from the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, a lead plaintiff in the suit, around 85 percent of abortions in Texas happen when a woman is at least six weeks into her pregnancy, the Texas Tribune reports.
Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include clergy, doctors and clinics who are represented by Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Senior counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights and lead attorney on the suit Marc Hearron said that the bill could produce “endless lawsuits.”
“It allows complete strangers, anti-abortion activists, to sue and interfere with the patient’s decision. Those people may try to essentially hijack the courts for their ideological agenda.”
Defendants in the lawsuit include judges and county clerks in Texas, the Texas Medical Board, the Texas Board of Nursing, the Texas Board of Pharmacy, the state attorney general, and the Director of Right to Life East Texas, Mark Lee Dickson.
“The only thing more ridiculous than this lawsuit is the fact that we have people, right here in Texas, who are fighting to end the lives of innocent unborn children,” Dickson wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
John Seago, legislative director for Texas Right to Life, expressed optimism that the bill, which will go into effect on September 1, will be upheld.
“We still have the utmost confidence in the innovative legal strategy and carefully drafted nature of SB 8,” Seago said in a statement. “We fully believe this pro-life priority will ultimately be upheld and save countless pre-born lives.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.