Major Update: Pro-Life Heartbeat Bill Gets Filed, Set for Hearing In Texas Senate
Austin, Texas – On Thursday, March 11th Texas Senator Bryan Hughes filed SB 8, The Texas Heartbeat Bill, to protect the lives of the unborn from the moment a heartbeat is detected. Senate State Affairs will hold a hearing for SB 8 at 9:00 a.m. Monday, March 15. The bill was co-authored by a bipartisan group of 16 other senators, which also indicates the bill has majority support. The House companion, HB 1515, is being carried by Rep. Shelby Slawson, a Republican who firmly holds to her pro-life principles. Texas Values enthusiastically supports this bill as the protecting the humanity of the unborn child.
“The presence of a heartbeat is a universal indicator of life. Whether it’s a life in the womb or out, we should protect them both. This bill demonstrates that Texans value life. It’s time to stand up for those who are unable to stand up for themselves,” said Mary Elizabeth Castle, Policy Advisor for Texas Values.
Texas Values and its leader, Jonathan Saenz, have been a part of passing some of the most significant pieces of pro-life legislation in recent sessions, including the Choose Life license plate bill, the sonogram bill, and the dismemberment abortion ban bill. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick designated heartbeat legislation to be one of his priorities last month when he released his list of 31 low-number priority bills.
SB 8 requires physicians to check for a baby’s heartbeat and inform the mother if the presence of a heartbeat is detected. Once a heartbeat is detected, the doctor must take all necessary steps to protect the life of the child. The bill also creates civil liability for aiding and abetting an abortion.
Since 2013, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and Tennessee have all passed heartbeat legislation. South Carolina passed heartbeat legislation in 2019, making it one of the most recent states to adopt this protection for the unborn. Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s addition to the U.S. Supreme Court, with her pro-life vote, makes it more likely than ever that pro-life heartbeat legislation will be upheld to protect unborn life.
Our legislative action arm, Texas Values Action, is encouraging all Texans to contact your Texas Senate and House members and ask them to support SB 8 and HB 1515.