In May of 2021, Texas passed a law that would allow individuals to sue abortion providers, or anyone who assists in an abortion procedure, should one take place after “cardiac activity” is discovered. The law went into effect on Sept. 1, after the Supreme Court allowed the law to be upheld.
The law already has more endurance than previous pro-life legislation in large part due to the new conservative Supreme Court majority, who refused to block the new legislation. But it is also more successful because it does not give the state power to enforce the law, that power is given to the citizens.
Josh Blackman, a law professor at South Texas College of Law Houston, was quoted in the Texas Tribune saying, “Planned Parenthood can’t go to court and sue Attorney General Paxton like they usually would because he has no role in enforcing the statute. They have to basically sit and wait to be sued.”
The Washington Post reported that this new legislation is already being used as a template for pro-life groups in other states, meaning strict abortion bans could be passed around the country.
“Republican officials in more than half-dozen states across the country moved this week to replicate Texas’ restrictive abortion ban,” the Washington Post reported.
The new legislation has seen harsh resistance from pro-choice lawmakers, and pro-choice advocates around the country.
“The drumbeat to eliminate Roe [vs.] Wade and control women’s bodies,” said Elmhurst University Chaplain Scott Matheney. “That’s how I see it, it’s pretty direct. Women do not get to control their bodies.”
The pro-life group, Texas Right to Life, wrote on their website, “the Supreme Court’s decision is a massive victory for the Pro-Life movement.” They also said that they are hoping to mimic this success around the country.