Today, an anti-abortion trigger law goes into effect in Texas. With very few exceptions (not for rape or incest), abortion will be banned after fertilization.
The trigger law also increases the penalties for anybody who administers or facilitates an abortion and makes it a felony. This is a different law than Senate Bill 8, which is essentially a six-week abortion ban, that went into effect September of last year.
Dyana Limon-Mercado, the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes said in a statement that the point of the trigger ban is simply, “cruelty.”
“It is cruelty towards the doctors who could be subject to life in prison for providing health care,” said Limon-Mercado. “It is cruelty towards patients experiencing miscarriage or pregnancy complications who are now at risk of being denied a life-saving procedure.”
As the second largest state in the nation enters an even scarier anti-abortion landscape, Democratic candidates are pledging their support for re-establishing abortion rights. Rochelle Garza and Mike Collier, who are running for Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor, released a joint video called “For All Texans,” about restoring abortion access in Texas. The ad ends with Garza saying, “My daughter was three months old when Roe fell, I’m in this fight for her.”
Beto O’Rourke hosted a press conference with women and physicians who have been impacted by the draconian anti-abortion laws in Texas.
The promise by statewide candidates to restore abortion access arrives amid an even grimmer backdrop. Ken Paxton recently celebrated a legal ruling against the Biden administration, which issued guidance noting that doctors who provide lifesaving abortion care are shielded through federal law. A federal judge in Lubbock effectively blocked that guidance.