On September 1, the Texas Heartbeat Act went into effect. This law bans abortions in the state once ultrasound can detect “cardiac motion” in the embryo. Such motion typically begins around six weeks of development. Roughly 85% of abortions take place after six weeks. Since going into effect, abortions at Planned Parenthood facilities have virtually ceased in the state of Texas.
Unlike other laws which ban or limit abortion, this law relies on civil rather than criminal enforcement. Members of the public can sue abortion providers (not patients) for a minimum of $10,000. Since enforcement belongs to private citizens, there is no precise party to sue to block the law. This explains why the Supreme Court refused to block enforcement of the law in a recent 5-4 ruling.
The importance of this law and the ruling by the Supreme Court cannot be understated. This represents a major victory in the pro-life cause. Unfortunately, the pro-life cause cannot depend on the current administration. On Wednesday, the president vowed to defend abortion rights. When asked if life begins at conception, the president responded: “I don’t agree.”
Let’s be clear: abortion is not simply a religious issue. Anyone of sound mind and judgment using current biological understanding can grasp that life begins at conception. The president and others disregard both faith and science. Instead, we hope that the Supreme Court, bolstered by appointments by the previous administration, will finally rid the country of Roe v. Wade.