On Wednesday, May 19, Governor Greg Abbott signed into law an abortion ban he said will help save the lives of "millions of children" who "lose their right to life every year because of abortion." Opponents of the bill say it's unconstitutional and dangerous, and amounts to an outright ban.
Senate Bill 8, known as a "heartbeat bill," bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy (although whether this is a "heartbeat" at all is hotly contested). "When you factor in the time it takes to confirm a pregnancy, consider your options and...schedule an appointment, a six-week ban essentially bans abortion outright," said Bhavik Kumar, M.D., M.P.H., an abortion provider in Houston and national medical spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Texas' abortion laws were already restrictive: The state mandates