The U.S. Supreme Court has passed a new law in Mom, Texas that prohibits abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. It is good for many women before they get pregnant.
The law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers, and anyone else can help a woman get an abortion – who travels to the clinic or provides financial assistance for an abortion. The private citizens who bring these cases do not need to show any relationship with the people against whom the lawsuits are filed. Rape or incest is no exception. Here’s why one of the country’s strictest laws is to ban abortion.
What is Texas law prohibited?
It prohibits abortion as soon as the cardiac activity is detected. This is about six weeks before many people become pregnant. Other states have tried to do so, but those laws have been challenged by abortion-rights groups and repeatedly blocked by federal courts.
How is this law different from the efforts of other states?
Parties that oppose the right to abortion have pushed for the Texas law, hoping it will be difficult for federal courts to overturn it. Without requiring government officials to enforce the law, the law allows individuals to file civil lawsuits against abortion providers or anyone else who has been found to have “assisted or persuaded” of an illegal abortion.
This law gives individuals the power to enforce an abortion ban. How will it work in practice?
Anyone who can successfully sue an abortion provider under this Act can be paid at least $10,000. And to prepare for that, Texas Right to Life has set up a “whistleblower” website where people can submit anonymous tips about anyone breaking the law.“These lawsuits are not against women,” John Sego told Texas Right to Life. Those who make money from abortion will be sued, the abortion industry itself. In a federal lawsuit challenging this, a coalition of abortion providers and reproductive rights groups said the law “invites random strangers to sue those who provide or subsidize abortions.”
What does the law mean for patients and abortion providers?
Dr. Bhav Bhavik Kumar, a family physician who works for planned parenting in Houston, said the law creates a lot of uncertainty for patients and providers. But Kumar insisted that he would comply. Kumar said the ban probably means there will be a lot of questions from patients about how to have an abortion outside of Texas.“I know there are a lot of people who don’t have the ability to make it outside the state … logistics for them and the ability to do it is not an option for them,” he said. “So I’m really worried about what will happen to people.
What happens next?
Texas State Court has filed lawsuits against the law in multiple courts targeting anti-abortion groups, including Texas ‘Right to Life’. Abortion rights groups are protesting against the law in Texas. A spokesman for Right to Life in Texas told NPR that there were no lawsuits pending against abortion providers and that abortion providers said they would abide by the law as long as it was effective.