For 27 days, Texas has been saving unborn babies from abortion through its new heartbeat law.
The pro-life law — the first of its kind allowed to be enforced in the U.S. – has saved about 100 babies’ lives every single day. That amounts to approximately 2,700 unborn babies, as well as their mothers and fathers, who have been spared from the pain and death of abortion this month, according to Texas Right to Life.
The Texas heartbeat law went into effect Sept. 1, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. The U.S. Supreme Court refused Planned Parenthood’s and other pro-abortion groups’ request to temporarily block enforcement of the law. However, the court battle is not over.
Unique from other state heartbeat laws, the Texas law includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law and those who help them.
It is these lawsuits and the risk of financial loss that are deterring the abortion industry from breaking the law, Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate at Texas Right to Life, explained at The Federalist this week.
So far in Texas, we are seeing the abortion industry comply with the new law. Eighty-five percent of abortions that previously would have been occurring in our state are now illegal. More than 100 babies per day are being given a chance at life. There have not been any credible assertions of violation. This means that the unique threat of private lawsuits under this law is successfully saving babies.
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Civil penalties are the most effective in pro-life laws because the abortion industry is profit-driven. The industry profits off killing preborn children and does not want to lose money. So it complies with pro-life laws (even as it fights them in the courts). That is why the Texas Heartbeat Act uses civil remedies — because it incentivizes compliance from the abortion industry.
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. With the heartbeat law in effect, tens of thousands of babies could be spared from abortion every year in Texas.
While abortion activists say some women are traveling to other states for abortions, they admit that others are having their babies instead. Studies and other evidence confirm that most women do not get abortions when they are banned; instead, they have their babies. This contradicts the back-alley abortion claim that women will resort to dangerous methods if they cannot get legal abortions.
What’s more, a well-known pro-abortion study called the Turnaway Study found that 96 percent of mothers who were denied abortions later no longer wished that they had had one. In other words, abortion-minded women who remained pregnant later were glad that they had their babies.
Still, pro-life advocates know that mothers and babies need support, and they are reaching out to pregnant women across Texas with compassion and understanding, offering financial and material resources and emotional support to help them and their babies. The state has more than 200 pregnancy resource centers that provide free services to pregnant and parenting mothers in need. That total does not include maternity homes and other resources for struggling families.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers increased support for programs that serve pregnant and parenting mothers and babies, ensuring that families have resources to choose life for their babies.
Whether the heartbeat law will remain in effect or ultimately be upheld as constitutional remains uncertain. A federal court hearing involving one of the lawsuits is scheduled for Oct. 1.