Texas Heartbeat Act

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Texas Heartbeat Act is an act of the Texas Legislature. It was introduced as Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) and House Bill 1515 (HB 1515) on March 11, 2021, was signed into law on May 19, 2021, and went into effect on September 1, 2021. It is the first six-week abortion ban in the United States, and the first of its kind to rely on civil rather than criminal enforcement. The act establishes a system where members of the public can sue abortion providers for a minimum of US$10,000 in statutory damages. The act is considered a de facto ban on abortion in Texas

Quotes[edit]

This extreme Texas law blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade and upheld as precedent for nearly half a century. ~ Joe Biden
If a claimant in an S.B.8 case prevails, they are entitled to ... at least $10,000 per abortion, with no apparent maximum amount
We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the FACE Act. If you have an incident, concern, or questions, please contact the FBI ~ U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland
Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said on CNN that while he’s “pro-life,” what he “doesn’t like to see” is letting “everyone being able to tattle” and the fact that under SB 8, private citizens are “deputized to enforce this abortion law” against even potentially Uber drivers that transport a Texan to their abortion.
The majority of people who are raped, and who are sexually assaulted, are assaulted by someone they know... people's uncles... teachers...family friends, and when something like that happens, it takes a very long time, first of all, for any victim to come forward... They don't want to re-traumatize themselves by going to court.~ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • The law amounts to a near-total ban on abortion procedures given that 85% to 90% of abortions occur after six weeks of pregnancy, and would likely force many clinics to close, the abortion-rights groups said. A majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in the United States, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. Some 52% said it should be legal in most or all cases, with just 36% saying it should be illegal in most or all cases. But it remains a deeply polarizing issue...The law, signed on May 19, is unusual in that it prevents government officials from enforcing the ban, instead giving private citizens that power by enabling them to sue anyone who provides or "aids or abets" an abortion after six weeks. Citizens who win such lawsuits would be entitled to at least $10,000. Abortion providers say the law could lead to hundreds of costly lawsuits that would be logistically difficult to defend.
  • Texas law Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) has drawn significant criticism since going into effect last week, as the law bans abortions after a “fetal heartbeat” is detected—a term medical experts have criticized as misleading—and has an exception only for medical emergencies.
  • Asked Tuesday about the law forcing rape and incest victims to carry their pregnancies to term, Abbott claimed the law “doesn’t require that at all” because it “provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion.” Abbott’s comments Tuesday have sparked widespread opposition from abortion rights advocates. “Greg Abbott is lying” about rape victims still being able to get an abortion, former San Antonio mayor and presidential candidate Julian Castro tweeted Tuesday, while progressive group Ultraviolet said of Abbott’s comments, “Maybe if you don't understand basic biology you shouldn't legislate bodily autonomy away.”
  • Several Republicans including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) criticized Texas’ near-total ban on abortion Sunday because of its provision empowering private citizens to sue those who aid and abet abortions—potentially signaling the legal tactic could face resistance from within the GOP as more states plan to copy Texas’ law. The Maryland governor specifically pointed to the law’s “problem of bounties,” as the Texas law—known as Senate Bill 8 (SB 8)—says government officials cannot enforce the law, but rather directs private citizens to file lawsuits against anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion and stipulates they can earn at least $10,000 in damages if they win. Kinzinger said on CNN that while he’s “pro-life,” what he “doesn’t like to see” is letting “everyone being able to tattle” and the fact that under SB 8, private citizens are “deputized to enforce this abortion law” against even potentially Uber drivers that transport a Texan to their abortion. The GOP lawmaker also opposes the fact the law does not include exceptions in the case of rape and incest, though SB 8 does allow abortions in the case of medical emergencies. Former Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), who identifies as “pro-life,” said on Meet the Press she views the Texas law as “bad policy and it’s bad law,” agreeing with a Wall Street Journal op-ed that described the law as a “blunder” that “sets an awful precedent that conservatives should hate.”
  • Several Republicans including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) criticized Texas’ near-total ban on abortion Sunday because of its provision empowering private citizens to sue those who aid and abet abortions—potentially signaling the legal tactic could face resistance from within the GOP as more states plan to copy Texas’ law. The Maryland governor specifically pointed to the law’s “problem of bounties,” as the Texas law—known as Senate Bill 8 (SB 8)—says government officials cannot enforce the law, but rather directs private citizens to file lawsuits against anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion and stipulates they can earn at least $10,000 in damages if they win. Kinzinger said on CNN that while he’s “pro-life,” what he “doesn’t like to see” is letting “everyone being able to tattle” and the fact that under SB 8, private citizens are “deputized to enforce this abortion law” against even potentially Uber drivers that transport a Texan to their abortion. The GOP lawmaker also opposes the fact the law does not include exceptions in the case of rape and incest, though SB 8 does allow abortions in the case of medical emergencies. Former Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), who identifies as “pro-life,” said on Meet the Press she views the Texas law as “bad policy and it’s bad law,” agreeing with a Wall Street Journal op-ed that described the law as a “blunder” that “sets an awful precedent that conservatives should hate.”
  • While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion, we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act, 18 U.S.C. § 248. The FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services. It also prohibits intentional property damage of a facility providing reproductive health services. The department has consistently obtained criminal and civil remedies for violations of the FACE Act since it was signed into law in 1994, and it will continue to do so now. The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack. We have reached out to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities. We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the FACE Act. If you have an incident, concern, or questions, please contact the FBI
    • Merrick Garland, Statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Regarding Texas SB8 (September 6, 2021)
  • We turn to a major setback for reproductive rights. As of midnight last night, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a Texas law to go into effect that bans abortion after six weeks. No other six-week ban has ever gone into effect in the United States. At six weeks, many people don’t even know they’re pregnant... The new Texas law is unique. It empowers private citizens — not government officials — to file a civil lawsuit against patients, medical workers, or even a patient’s family or friends who, quote, “aid and abet” an abortion — or a taxi driver who drives a woman to a clinic. If a case is successful, the person who filed it is awarded at least $10,000, plus attorneys’ fees.
  • Today, a new law takes effect in Texas that directly violates the precedent established in the landmark case of Roe v. Wade. This all-out assault on reproductive health effectively bans abortion for the nearly 7 million Texans of reproductive age."
  • Abbott is claiming that because the law allows for abortion up to six weeks, it’s not forcing anyone to do anything. As doctors, people who’ve been pregnant before, and people who’ve bothered to read a book on the subject before crafting legislation on it have noted, by the time a person misses her first period, she’s already roughly four weeks pregnant. That means that under Texas law, someone would have no more than two weeks, not six, to determine she’s pregnant and decide whether or not to get an abortion. Even in the case of people who are actively trying to get pregnant, that window can narrow even further for numerous reasons including if they have irregular cycles. Usually, then, one would make an appointment with a doctor to confirm the pregnancy, and as Abbott may or may not know, health care in American is not the greatest, so she may not be able to be seen for several weeks. And that hugely generous two weeks is not only a joke for many people actively trying to have a child, but for the majority of people who are not.
  • It’s the most extreme that’s ever gone into effect. And as you pointed out, this morning, unfortunately, in Texas, the clinics can’t be open to provide abortions any later than six weeks. And 85% of people seeking abortions in Texas do so after six weeks, since many people don’t even know they’re pregnant yet at six weeks. So, this is the most extreme law to go into effect. We have gone to the Supreme Court. We filed papers right up to 8:00 last night. We are waiting for the court to act. And it really should step in. I mean, what Texas has done his just blanket unconstitutional. It is not for the state of Texas to overturn Roe v. Wade... Roe v. Wade is the law of the land. It has been for 50 years.
    There is no question that a ban on abortion at six weeks violates the Constitution
  • For your listeners in Texas, if you are in this position, do call your local clinics... they are open, because there is this small period in which you can get an abortion, and they do want to help their patients. So, of course, before you do anything, call your local clinic. And secondly, you can leave the state. They can’t criminalize you leaving the state to have an abortion. But, of course, for so many people, they don’t have the means to do that. Right? You have to not only have the financial means to leave the state. You have to be able to take time off from work. You have to potentially have child care. Most women in Texas who have abortions do have children. And there’s a whole set of circumstances that are going to make that very difficult.
  • The majority of people who are raped, and who are sexually assaulted, are assaulted by someone they know. These aren’t just predators who are walking around the streets at night. They are people's uncles, they are teachers, they are family friends, and when something like that happens, it takes a very long time, first of all, for any victim to come forward. And second of all, when a victim comes forward, they don't necessarily want to bring their case into the carceral system. They don't want to re-traumatize themselves by going to court. They don't necessarily all want to report a family friend to a police precinct, let alone in the immediate aftermath of the trauma of a sexual assault.
  • Abbott's response is misleading, at best. The law's stipulation banning abortions after six weeks does not necessarily mean six weeks from the incident, in the case of rape or incest victims. Doctors date pregnancies from the first day of the individual's last menstrual cycle not from ovulation or "conception." As a result, under the new Texas law, those seeking abortions have less than six weeks to do so. Abbott attempted to caveat his comments Tuesday by highlighting that "rape is a crime," though the bill has no exception for it. Under SB8, the only possible exemption is for "medical emergency." Otherwise, abortion is prohibited when a fetal heartbeat is detected, though the flickering identified as a fetal heartbeat on an ultrasound at that time is really just electrical activity and the sound is made by the ultrasound machine itself. Even at six weeks, doctors say an ultrasound is not detecting a functional heart. And it's worth noting that the fetal heartbeat used as the abortion cutoff in this bill often occurs before people know they are pregnant.
    Jennifer Kerns, associate professor at University of California San Francisco and an OB-GYN, told CNN, "Saying that someone has six weeks to access abortion is completely misleading. When we say six weeks pregnant what that actually means is six weeks from the last menstrual period... So it doesn't actually mean the person has been pregnant for six weeks.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is again under fire for his state's restrictive new abortion law, after falsely claiming it does not force victims of rape or incest to give birth even though it prohibits abortions after about six weeks — which is before many people even know they're pregnant... Abbott was asked about forcing a rape or incest victim to carry their pregnancy to term. He misleadingly replied that the law does not require that. "...it provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion, and so, for one, it doesn't provide that," Abbott said... In fact, the countdown for those six weeks starts from the first day of a person's last period (not the "expected" period that was missed), leaving many with only about one or two weeks to end the pregnancy, if that, under the new law.
  • Ocasio-Cortez also took issue with Abbott's comments on rape, noting that the majority of people who are raped or sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone whom they know. The anti-sexual violence nonprofit RAINN says 8 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. "These aren't just predators that are walking around the streets at night. They are people's uncles, they are teachers, they are family friends, and when something like that happens, it takes a very long time, first of all, for any victim to come forward," Ocasio-Cortez added. "And second of all,
  • The whole case [Larkin v. Grendel's Den, Inc. (1982)] arose because of this arbitrary power that was given to a private entity... the Supreme Court said you cannot give governmental power over peoples` lives or liberty to private bodies, that have no public accountability

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: