A Texas abortion chain kept aborting unborn babies up until midnight Tuesday when the new state heartbeat law went into effect.
Whole Woman’s Health, an abortion chain with four Texas facilities, said it did its last abortion at 11:56 p.m. Tuesday in Fort Worth, according to the Dallas News.
On Wednesday, the state heartbeat law went into effect, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. The legislation has the potential to save tens of thousands of babies’ lives in Texas every year.
Whole Woman’s Health, Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and others filed a desperate appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, asking the justices to temporarily block enforcement of the law. But as of yet, Justice Samuel Alito, who is in charge of emergency petitions from Texas, has not issued a decision.
“Our waiting room was filled with patients and their loved ones in all four of our clinics yesterday,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of the abortion chain.
Just how many unborn babies her abortion chain aborted Tuesday is not clear, but, according to the New York Post, the Forth Worth facility “still had 27 patients in the waiting room trying to get an abortion just hours before the deadline hit.”
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Miller said her staff was in tears as the law took effect early Wednesday morning. However, she added that they will comply with the pro-life law.
“We were able to see all those patients, and I want to make it clear that today Whole Woman’s Health and Whole Woman’s Alliance clinics are providing care in accordance with the law and are fully compliant with SB 8, and we are unwavering in believing that Texans deserve abortion …” she said, according to Dallas News.
While the abortionists worked late into the night, Miller said pro-life protesters stood outside their abortion facilities the “entire time.”
Pro-life advocates are reaching out to pregnant women across Texas with compassion and understanding, offering resources and emotional support to help them and their babies. Earlier this year, state lawmakers increased financial support for pregnant and parenting mothers and babies, ensuring that they have resources to choose life for their babies.
Up until now, state heartbeat laws have been blocked in court. The precedent established in Roe v. Wade prohibits states from banning abortions before an unborn baby is viable. But the Texas law is unique from other heartbeat laws because it includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law.
State Sen. Bryan Hughes, a Republican who sponsored the legislation, described it as “the most powerful pro-life legislation in Texas history,” according to The Epoch Times.
Indeed, it may be. The law has the potential to save tens of thousands of babies from abortion. In 2020, about 54,000 unborn babies were aborted in Texas, and about 85 percent happened after six weeks of pregnancy, according to state health statistics. That means more than 100 unborn babies with beating hearts may be spared from abortion every single day in Texas.
On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, Whole Woman’s Health and other abortion groups asked the Supreme Court to stop Texas from enforcing the law, according to the Dallas Observer. In their appeal, the groups said the law “would immediately and catastrophically reduce abortion access in Texas” and potentially cause many abortion facilities to close.
Whether the Texas law will remain in effect or ultimately be upheld as constitutional in court remains uncertain, but pro-life leaders are hopeful now that the Supreme Court has a conservative majority.
In 1973, the U.S. 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. The court is scheduled to hear a Mississippi case in the fall that challenges this precedent.
Polls show Americans support heartbeat laws. An April poll by the University of Texas-Austin found that 49 percent of Texans support making abortions illegal after six weeks of pregnancy, while 41 percent oppose it. In 2019, a national Hill-HarrisX survey also 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.