The Deviousness of Texas’s New Abortion Law

Source: The Atlantic
by Mary Ziegler

“In May, [Texas] adopted a version of a ‘heartbeat bill’ that went into effect today. So-called heartbeat bills prohibit abortions once a physician can detect fetal cardiac activity, usually around the sixth week of pregnancy, before most people know that they are pregnant. Texas lawmakers had considered such a bill before but balked at the prospect of a possible loss in court — and the thought of forking over legal fees to Planned Parenthood. S.B. 8, the law that now prevails, promised to give conservative lawmakers everything they wanted: the ability to ban abortion with none of the risk. The key, as Texas lawmakers saw it, was not to criminalize abortions. Instead, the state has authorized private citizens in the state — quite literally any private citizen — to file lawsuits against anyone who performs or ‘knowingly … aids or abets’ an abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy.” (09/01/21)