Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson slammed states’ efforts to protect unborn babies from abortion as “cruel” and “extreme” this week.
Johnson reacted after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a heartbeat law Wednesday prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, typically about six weeks of pregnancy.
The legislation potentially could save tens of thousands of unborn babies from abortion every year, but pro-abortion groups are expected to challenge it in court. Similar heartbeat laws in about 10 other states also have been blocked by lawsuits from the abortion industry.
Johnson, who runs the largest abortion chain in the U.S., criticized lawmakers for trying to “attack our reproductive rights” by almost completely banning abortions, Fox 7 reports.
“The goal is clear: to relentlessly attack our reproductive rights until abortion is a right in name only. Passing these bills is not leadership, it is cruelty and extremism,” she said.
But elections, polls and other evidence show that Americans disagree. Many believe that aborting an unborn baby is cruel, and the radical pro-abortion agenda being pushed by Planned Parenthood is extreme.
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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.
The law is scheduled to go into effect in September. Texas reported more than 56,600 abortions in 2019, and the new law could prevent almost all of them.
A lawsuit from the abortion industry is expected, but legal experts said the Texas law presents a unique challenge because it allows private individuals to sue abortionists for violating the law.
Instead of having the government enforce the law, the bill turns the reins over to private citizens — who are newly empowered to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps someone get an abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected. The person would not have to be connected to someone who had an abortion or to a provider to sue. …
“It’s a very unique law and it’s a very clever law,” said Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at South Texas College of Law Houston. “Planned Parenthood can’t go to court and sue Attorney General [Ken] Paxton like they usually would because he has no role in enforcing the statute. They have to basically sit and wait to be sued.”
This private enforcement mechanism is similar to the Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinances that have passed in about 30 cities in Texas and Nebraska. Planned Parenthood just filed a lawsuit challenging the new pro-life ordinance in the city of Lubbock.
Jeffrey Dixon, professor of political science at Texas A&M University Central Texas, told 6 News that the heartbeat law clearly contradicts U.S. Supreme Court rulings on abortion, but challenging Roe v. Wade appears to be part of the point.
“There’s a pretty solid 6-3 conservative majority on the court, and half of the justices have at one point or another indicated that they might be willing to overrule Roe v. Wade,” Dixon said. “So I think there is a sense if you can get this in front of the court they might reverse some of their precedents on the issue.”
The billion-dollar abortion industry will not give up without a fight. Elisabeth Smith of the Center for Reproductive Rights said they will not “let this six-week ban go unchallenged,” and other pro-abortion groups said the lawsuits allowed under the private enforcement mechanism could be crippling, both in terms of time and money, according to the Tribune.
Pro-life advocates have strong hopes that the Supreme Court will reverse its decades-old abortion rulings and allow states to protect unborn babies again.
On Monday, the justices agreed to a 2018 Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. At issue in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the question of “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional.”
Many believe the case is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and could be used to overturn it.
Because of Roe, more than 62 million unborn babies have been aborted in the U.S. The ruling forces states to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions without restriction all the way up to viability, though some states allow abortions up to birth. The U.S. is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.