Supreme Court precedents prohibit states from banning abortion before the viability of the fetus, the point at which fetuses can keep life out of the womb or about 22 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Texas law says doctors cannot perform abortions if a heartbeat is detected, an activity that begins around six weeks, even before many women are aware they are pregnant.
Many states have passed these bans, but the law in Texas is different. It was drafted to make it difficult to challenge the court.
Typically, a lawsuit seeking to block a law because it is unconstitutional would designate defendants to state officials. However, Texas law, which makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from incest or rape, prohibits state officials from enforcing it, and instead replaces individuals in suing anyone who performs the procedure or “helps.” the incites “.
The patient may not be reported, but doctors, clinic staff, counselors, people who help pay for the procedure, and even an Uber driver who takes a patient to a clinic. abortion are possible defendants. Plaintiffs, who do not need to live in Texas, have no connection to the abortion or show any injury, can get $ 10,000 and get their legal fees back if they win. Dominant defendants are not entitled to legal fees.
Defendant physicians, even if the lawsuit is denied, must report the lawsuits when they renew their licenses or obtain hospital admission privileges, according to Amy Hagstrom Miller, chief executive of Whole Woman’s Health, which operates four clinics in Texas.
When the law came into force, Democrats attacked it and pledged to fight to maintain abortion rights in Texas and across the country. In a statement, President Biden said the measure “blatantly violates” the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe against Wade.