Abortions in Texas
On Friday, June 24, the United States Supreme Court completely overturned Roe v Wade and allowed state legislatures to ban abortion as they did before Roe.
The Texas Legislature passed and Governor Greg Abbott signed into law HB 1280, the Human Life Protection Act, in 2021. This law goes into effect on August 25, 2022.
Violators can be sentenced to 99 years in prison. In addition, they can be fined $100,000 and lose their medical license. HB 1280 does not allow prosecution for the treatment of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, and women cannot be charged.
Governor Abbott has approved an appropriation of $100 million for the current two-year budget for the highly successful Alternatives to Abortion program. Support is available for at least three years after birth from nearly two hundred pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies across the state, serving 150,000 clients each year, far more than the 55,000 abortions in Texas in 2020. Governor Abbott also approved $1.2 billion per year in the Medicaid Program for prenatal, childbirth, and for follow-up care for low-income women and their babies.
Restrictions on Abortions in Texas
As of September 1, 2021, The Texas Heartbeat Act bans abortion after the detection of an unborn child’s heartbeat, which normally occurs after about six weeks of pregnancy. The act authorizes members of the public to sue anyone who performs or facilitates an illegal abortion for a minimum of $10,000 in statutory damages per abortion, plus court costs and attorneys’ fees.
Additionally, beginning December 2, 2021, a new law restricts abortion-inducing medication, the most common abortion method in Texas. The law makes it a felony to provide the medication after seven weeks of pregnancy, Texas’ new law also specifies that no one may provide abortion medication “by courier, delivery, or mail service".