Texas Abortion Ban Has Been Saving Babies For 77 Days So Far

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 20, 2021   |   12:45PM   |   Washington, DC

The Texas heartbeat law is still in effect, saving unborn babies from abortions every day.

Twice, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block enforcement of the unique, life-saving law, which went into effect on Sept. 1. Then, on Nov. 1, the justices heard arguments from the abortion industry and the Biden administration urging them for a third time to block the law.

The justices’ answer has not come yet — a delay that means more unborn babies are being spared from abortion. But it could come Monday.

The Associated Press reports an announcement on the Supreme Court website Friday states the justices’ plans to issue at least one opinion Monday.

It is not clear if that may include the Texas heartbeat law, which prohibits abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Pro-life leaders estimate the law has saved at least 3,000 babies from violent abortion deaths since Sept. 1.

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Texas is the first state to be allowed to enforce a heartbeat law because of a unique provision that allows private individuals to enforce it by filing lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law.

This unique provision and a legal technicality about the parties involved in the lawsuits are the issues that the Supreme Court currently is considering, not the abortion ban itself.

Here’s more from the AP:

The Supreme Court is weighing complex issues in two challenges brought by abortion providers in Texas and the Biden administration. Those issues include who, if anyone, can sue over the law in federal court, the typical route for challenges to abortion restrictions, and whom to target with a court order that ostensibly tries to block the law.

Under Supreme Court precedents, it’s not clear whether a federal court can restrain the actions of state court judges who would hear suits filed against abortion providers, court clerks who would be charged with accepting the filings or anyone who might some day want to sue.

People who sue typically have to target others who already have caused them harm, not those who might one day do so and not court officials who are just doing their jobs by docketing and adjudicating the cases.

Texas officials argue that the Supreme Court must reject the Biden administration’s request for a temporary injunction because the Texas government is not charged with enforcing the abortion ban. The law allows private citizens to enforce the law by suing abortionists and those who assist in killing unborn babies.

Typically, state governments enforce pro-life laws and, when the laws are challenged, judges can block the states from enforcing them through a temporary injunction. However, the Texas law leaves enforcement up to individual people.

Attorneys for Texas said Biden’s Department of Justice is being unfair by asking the court to block “absent third parties” from enforcing the law “without letting them be heard.”

For the 80 days that the law has been in effect, babies’ lives have been spared from abortion. While abortion activists say some women are traveling to other states for abortions, they admit that others are having their babies instead.

Texas abortion facilities reported a huge drop in abortion numbers during the first 30 days when the pro-life law was in effect, according to research from the University of Texas at Austin. Abortion facilities reported 2,164 abortions in September 2021, down from 4,313 in September 2020, according to the research. That equates to 2,149 babies’ lives.

The Texas law is saving as many as 100 babies from abortion every day and has the potential to save tens of thousands more. 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.