Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Introduces Bill to Ban Abortions When Unborn Baby’s Heart Begins Beating

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 9, 2021   |   2:17PM   |   Austin, TX

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to introduce a pro-life heartbeat bill soon to protect unborn babies from abortions throughout the state.

NBC-DFW 5 News reports the pro-life Republican governor and state Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, are working together on the bill.

“This session, we need a law that ensures that the life of every child will be spared from the ravages of abortion,” Abbott said in his state of the state address earlier this month, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

If enforced, the heartbeat bill would ban almost all abortions in Texas. An unborn baby’s heartbeat typically is detectable at about six weeks of pregnancy, sometimes before the woman even knows she is pregnant.

The bill would require abortionists to check for a baby’s heartbeat and prohibit the abortion if it is detected. It would create criminal penalties for abortionists who violate the measure.

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A number of states have passed heartbeat laws in recent years, but all have been banned from enforcing them due to legal challenges by abortion activist groups. States with heartbeat laws include Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Tennessee. South Carolina also appears poised to pass a heartbeat bill this winter.

Americans support strong limits on abortion. A 2019 Hill-HarrisX survey found that 55 percent of voters said they do not think laws banning abortions after six weeks – when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable – are too restrictive. Gallup polls also consistently have found that a majority of Americans think all or most abortions should be illegal.

Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold an abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade. Others, however, are hesitant because of concerns about losing the court battle and being forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.

Though a majority of the justices are Republican appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts has sided with the liberal justices on a number of occasions.

In 1973, the Supreme Court took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe v. Wade, and instead forced states to legalize abortion on demand. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks.