Texas is the latest state to introduce a slew of pro-life bills, including a Heartbeat Bill, aimed at dismantling the foundation of Roe v. Wade. It’s a sign that despite a profoundly pro-abortion administration currently in office, life is winning in many states across the country.
The “Texas Heartbeat Act,” also known as Senate Bill 8, passed the Texas Senate last week and is designed to ban abortion after the preborn heartbeat is detected. According to the bill, “a physician may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child as required by Section 171.203 or failed to perform a test to detect a fetal heartbeat.”
For those abortionists who violate this bill, they could be subject to civil action and, if the suit is successful, could be forced to pay as much as “$10,000 for each abortion that the defendant performed or induced in violation of this chapter, and for each abortion performed or induced in violation of this chapter that the defendant aided or abetted.”
Texas Senator Bryan Hughes, who introduced the bill, issued the following statement: “As we approach the resurrection and celebration of Jesus Christ, we recognize that the greatest gifts God can give begin small and unexpected, yet so important.
“Nothing is more indicative of life than the sound of a baby’s heartbeat. From being held on your mother’s chest as an infant, to the sound of a heart monitor of a loved one in a hospital bed, Senate Bill 8 recognizes the beauty and significance of the heartbeat.
“With strong support from Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick, and Speaker Phelan, I am excited to send this legislation to the bill’s House sponsor, Representative Shelby Slawson. We will work together to make it clear that if a Texan’s heartbeat is detected, his or her life will be protected.”
State Rep. Shelby Slawson has introduced a similar bill in the House, HB 1165, which also bans abortion after the heartbeat is detected. However, instead of allowing patients to explore civil suits, the bill would permit the “Texas Medical Board may take disciplinary action under Chapter 164.”
Mary Elizabeth Castle, the policy advisor for the Focus on the Family allied group Texas Values, offered her support, stating, “Today is a historic day: the Texas Senate took the first step forward in saving thousands of lives with the passage of SB 8. A heartbeat is an essential indicator of life and every heartbeat deserves a chance to live that life abundantly.”
These two heartbeat bills come after a similar piece of legislation was introduced in 2019, but failed in committee.
These heartbeat bills are just two of several pieces of pro-life legislation that have passed through the Texas legislature this year. There’s also SB 9, a bill that would ban nearly all abortions and would institute a fine of $100,000 for abortionists who violate the measure. The bill is considered one of the nation’s so-called “trigger laws,” that would go into effect only if Roe is overturned.
Another bill, SB 650, denies women travel expenses related to getting an abortion, like lodging, food, childcare, pro-abortion counseling or other expenses. The government should never be required to provide additional financial resources to women seeking an abortion as it clearly violates the conscience of pro-life Americas, not to mention the fact that there are several pro-abortion groups that already provide this type of support.
SB 1173 would protect preborn babies with disabilities or those with potentially fatal prenatal diagnoses. In addition to preventing discrimination, the bill would also require physicians to provide parents with “information regarding perinatal palliative care,” which is often a critical lifeline to families that face the possibility of their child dying quickly after birth.
All of these life-affirming bills will strengthen families in the Lone Star State by protecting babies and giving mothers greater options when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy.
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