Saturday was the 200th day the Texas abortion ban is saving babies from abortion. With its unique heartbeat law, Texas holds the distinction as being the first state to successfully ban abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973.
The pro-life law went into effect September 1, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Unique from other heartbeat laws, it includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law.
Planned Parenthood, a billion-dollar abortion chain that does about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S., slammed the private enforcement as “malicious,” claiming it would “cause imminent, irreparable injury” to its abortionists and other staff. It and another abortion business filed lawsuits against the abortion ban to try to stop it — and they lost their cases at both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court. In December, the Supreme Court left only part of the abortion groups’ lawsuit in place and sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit for consideration. It also threw out a second lawsuit by President Joe Biden‘s administration.
During arguments before the court, State Solicitor General Judd Stone responded that the law clearly states that enforcement is private. Stone told the justices that there is no “ordinary English interpretation that entertains any possibility of public enforcement.”
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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.
The Texas law is already saving thousands of babies from abortion, as some abortion centers have stopped abortions completely or stopped doing 80-90% of them. Although some babies are killed in out of state abortions and some babies are dying because of increased use of the dangerous abortion pill, the overall net effect of the ban is that thousands of babies have been saved.
Briscoe Cain, a Texas legislator who developed the legislation, celebrated the 200 days hallmark.
“Today marks 200 days of the Texas Heartbeat Act. 200 days will soon become 20 years and entire generation will be saved,” he told LifeNews.
Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton provided an update on the Texas abortion ban today, and he confirmed the heartbeat law has saved 17,000 babies from abortions.
Paxton said the state’s ban on abortions after n unborn babies heartbeat can be detected at 6 weeks has saved “17,000 newborn lives” in the six months since the law went into effect. He said the pro-life law is responsible for a 60% decline in abortions.
“Simply by having SB8 enacted, thousands of lives have already been saved in Texas. Stopping abortion providers from conducting these barbaric practices is yet another win for our great state. I will continue to fight tirelessly for the rights of the unborn,” Paxton said in a statement LifeNews obtained.
“Abortions fell by 60 percent in Texas the first month after SB8 took effect. Abortion providers asked both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to expedite their attack on the law by sending the case to a lower court, but they refused to do so,” Paxton added.
Meanwhile, 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 support for pregnant and parenting mothers and babies, ensuring that they have resources to choose life for their babies.
Women may call or text 1-800-712-4357 or chat online with OptionLine, a 24-hour bilingual hotline run by Heartbeat International that has helped connect millions of women to pregnancy and parenting resources.
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.
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 release a decision this summer on a Mississippi case in the fall that challenges this precedent.