It has been nearly 3 months since Texas’ “Heartbeat Act” (Senate Bill 8) went into effect. The law prohibits abortions after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected, which is usually around 4 to 6 weeks gestation.
Pro-aborts have tried to block the law by filing suit in state and federal courts. Most recently, the Biden administration unleashed the full force of the United States government against the law. So far, the Heartbeat Act has survived all challengers.
That is largely due to the unique enforcement mechanism written into the law. State prosecutors are expressly prohibited from enforcing its provisions. Instead, any individual who knows about an abortion done after the baby’s heartbeat is detected can sue the abortionist – and, if successful, will walk away with $10,000 in statutory damages.
How effective is the Heartbeat Act?
- It is estimated that abortions in Texas are down at least 50%. The Act has saved thousands of lives.
- Carol Everett, former abortionist and director of The Heidi Group, a network of pro-life medical clinics in Texas, has seen a 50% increase in the number of women seeking care at her centers. Carol created The Heidi Group to provide a pro-life alternative to Planned Parenthood and has served more than 30,000 patients since 2017.
- Taking a cue from Texas, Ohio legislators have introduced similar legislation that would prohibit abortion from the moment of conception. Like the Texas law, Ohio’s House Bill 480 creates a private right of action that allows individuals to sue abortionists.
Life Legal has filed legal briefs urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Texas Heartbeat Act as well as the 15 week abortion ban at issue in Jackson Women’s Health v. Dobbs. NOW is the time to reverse nearly half a century of laws that allow indiscriminate baby killing. The Court will hear the Dobbs case next week – please pray the Justices do the right thing and return to states the authority to protect the lives of innocent babies within their borders.