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Texas Now Has The Strictest Abortion Ban In The Country

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Abortion-rights activists chant outside the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of a historic ruling Monday striking down a Texas law that imposed strict requirements on clinics that perform abortions.
Mandel Ngan
/
AFP/Getty Images
Abortion-rights activists chant outside the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of a historic ruling Monday striking down a Texas law that imposed strict requirements on clinics that perform abortions.

Texas’ six-week abortion ban is in effect as of today.

Senate Bill 8 prohibits abortion after six weeks or when a fetal heartbeat is first detected, which is often before a woman realizes she is pregnant, and allows private citizens to sue doctors and anyone else who helps someone get an abortion.

Access advocates say that 85-90% of people who obtain abortions in Texas are at least six weeks into their pregnancies, and that the ban will most directly impact low-income women and women of color.

The ban sparked multiple lawsuits aiming to block it, including one filed in July by a coalition of Texas abortion providers — many of which were prepared to shut down as a result of the new restrictions — but a cancelled hearing last week dashed hopes of getting an injunction before the law was scheduled to go into effect.

And on Monday, Planned Parenthood separately asked the U.S. Supreme Court to delay the law from being enacted on Sept. 1 by challenging its constitutionality as a direct violation of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that protects abortion access.

As of September 1, Texas is the first U.S. state with a six-week abortion ban in effect. Similar bans attempted in other states have all been blocked by courts.

Its enactment is expected to prompt a mass discontinuation of abortion services throughout the state due to the risk of litigation for clinics who, under the new law, would not be able to recoup legal costs for fighting lawsuits, regardless of their frivolity and even if they win.

Guest: Jeffrey Hons, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Texas 

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, September 1.

Updated: September 1, 2021 at 10:23 AM CDT
We will continue to update this story as new information becomes available.
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