Texas law banning most abortions takes effect, allows civilians to sue abortion providers

The Supreme Court failed to act on an emergency appeal that would have temporarily blocked the law from taking effect.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott/YouTube

The state of Texas has effectively banned all abortions after six weeks.

The new law prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected, and although several other states have passed similar laws prior to Texas, judges have temporarily blocked their implementation after organizations like Planned Parenthood appealed or filed lawsuits.

In the case of Texas, the Supreme Court failed to act on an emergency appeal that would have temporarily blocked the law from taking effect, hence its official implementation Wednesday at midnight. The court, however, could still intervene by issuing a stay that temporarily blocks the law’s enforcement.

The Associated Press has called Texas’ law “the most dramatic restriction on abortion rights in the United States since the high court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision.” A unique provision allows civilians to sue anyone involved in procuring, facilitating, or providing an abortion in violation of the law, which could lead to a $10,000 payout if successful.

Planned Parenthood reacted to the new law on Twitter, saying they “aren’t backing down and are still fighting.”

“This ban is ridiculous and it’s part of a RECORD number of abortion restrictions passed this year,” they added.

Other groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) even claimed that banning abortion is racist.

“This is a racial and economic justice catastrophe,” the ACLU thundered on Twitter. “Decades of racism and structural inequality within the health care system have left Black and Latinx people and anyone trying to make ends meet with few alternatives to the cruel reality that Texas politicians have created.”