Heartbeat Bill in Texas Would Be Enforced by Lawsuits from Private Citizens| National Catholic Register

In a record-setting year for pro-life laws across the country, some states have gotten creative in their legal approach as they face challenges from abortion providers. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed a law in May that prohibits abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat — typically at six weeks gestation. Unlike other heartbeat bills, this law would be enforced by lawsuits from private citizens rather than the government, an approach that Texas pro-lifers argue could be successful for other types of pro-life legislation. The new heartbeat law, which would go into effect Sept. 1, states that a doctor “may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child” with an exception to save the life of the mother. It also does not authorize “prosecution of a woman on whom an abortion is performed.” The law says that “any person, other than an officer or employee of a state or local governmental entity in this state” can bring a civil action against an individual who performs an abortion or “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets” an abortion including “paying for or reimbursing” the costs of the abortion.

Heartbeat Bill in Texas Would Be Enforced by Lawsuits from Private Citizens| National Catholic Register

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