Gov. Abbott Signs Pro-Life Texas Heartbeat Act
Leads Nation With Strongest Protection of Life
Today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law what many are saying is the nation’s strongest pro-life legislation; the Texas Heartbeat Act (SB 8) that prohibits abortions after the detection of the child’s heartbeat. In response to federal courts blocking other states’ heartbeat bills, Texas carefully crafted a heartbeat bill that makes it nearly impossible for the courts to stop. Notably, this bill withstands the usual claims of constitutional violation because the state is not the one who will enforce it. Instead, SB 8 creates a civil liability for a person who performs, aids, or abets in an abortion after a heartbeat is detected and empowers citizens to file civil actions to enforce it. Senator Bryan Hughes and Rep. Shelby Slawson (who is serving in her first legislative session) led the effort to pass the new law.
“The Texas Heartbeat law is very simple, if a heartbeat is detected, the baby must be protected. We are proud that Texas, Gov. Abbott, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are leading the way with the strongest heartbeat law in the country. SB8 is designed to withstand the usual legal challenges and will protect babies in the womb from abortion,” said Jonathan Saenz, president and attorney for Texas Values.
“We want to thank Gov. Abbott and the Legislature for taking such a strong stance to protect the lives of preborn Texans,” said Mary Elizabeth Castle, Policy Advisor at Texas Values.
A heartbeat is a key and universal indicator of whether life exists. This law requires physicians to check for a baby’s heartbeat and inform the mother if the presence of a heartbeat is detected, which is often estimated to be about 6 weeks. Once a heartbeat is detected, the doctor must take all necessary steps to protect the life of the child.
Click here for more information about the Texas Heartbeat Act
Texas Values team members have been involved in the passage of every significant Texas pro-life law since 2007.
Since 2013, over a dozen states have passed heartbeat bills including Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Supporters of the Texas Heartbeat bill include: Key groups supporting the Texas Heartbeat Bill: Texas Values, Human Coalition Action, Family Policy Alliance, Concerned Women for America (CWA) Texas, Texas Right to Life, , SBA List, Texas Eagle Forum, Texas Teens for Life, Texas Young Republicans, Baylor Bears for Life/Students for Life Action, Texas Pastor Council, Texas Faith & Freedom Coalition, Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee of SBTC.
Key pro-life leaders supporting the Texas Heartbeat Act: Abby Johnson, Gov. Greg Abbott, Dr. James Dobson, Ann Hettinger, Lauren Muzyka, Jason Jones, Kelly Shackelford, Janet Porter, Jonathan Saenz, Abortion survivors Gianna Jessen and Claire Culwell, Walter Weber, Pastor Frank Pomeroy, Tim Von Dohlen, Karen Garnett, Pastor Dave Welch, Tim Lambert, and Lt. Col. Allen West.
About Texas Values
Texas Values is the largest statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvalues.org.