CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A temporary restraining order was granted against a Texas abortion bill just one day before it went into effect.
The so-called “Heartbeat Bill” would prohibit women from having abortions in as little as six weeks, unless there is a medical emergency.
On Tuesday, a Travis County judge agreed with Dallas attorney and women’s rights attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegle, and summoned lawsuits against anyone who helped and incurred an abortion six weeks after an unconstitutional fetal heartbeat was detected.
Tuegle issued the following statement in response to the decision:
“This decision means that, at least for today, a court is informing Texas women that they will continue to have legal access to resources, advice and support regarding abortion in Texas.”
– Michelle Simpson Tuegle
The “Heartbeat Bill” would give private citizens the right to sue for at least $ 10,000 in damages and attorney fees.
Advocates said the “Heartbeat Bill” would save hundreds of thousands of fetal lives.
“They should choose to live,” said Emanie Jolly, a second-year student at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “They can be adopted or anything that can help them thrive in life, because God has allowed us all to be here for a reason.”
But critics argue that most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks.
“Six weeks is not so long to make that decision to really evaluate your options,” said Alex Ramos, a student at A&M-CC.
There is no language in the bill that exempts women who have been sexually assaulted or who are survivors of incest.
Many consider the bill some of the strictest abortion laws in the country.
“I think it’s the woman’s choice, because it’s her body,” Jeremiah Brazies said.
Coastal Bend Pregnancy Center executive director Jana Pinson said her organization exists to help women weigh their options once they realize they are pregnant.
“What scares us the most is that they will make the decision to have an abortion very quickly, without having a chance to really think about it,” she said.
The nonprofit association records 9,000 patients a year and Pinson said many of these women are in crisis.
“Eighty-five percent of these girls end up keeping their babies and we get to parenting with them,” she said.
While the center does not provide or encourage abortion, Pinson said its staff supports women through free services, regardless of what they choose, even after the procedure.
“We try to slow down their decision because it’s a crazy reaction that they then regret, and so we just give them time,” Pinson said.
He worries that something like the “Heartbeat Bill” will make women feel compelled to make a quick decision, one way or another.
“So it takes us a little bit of that time,” he said.
A & M-CC student Julianna Rincon opposes the way the bill seeks to control women.
“Because they don’t regulate masks and allow people to choose over their body,” he said. “But for some reason can’t women? Just like they control women’s bodies.”
When it comes to abortion rights in the Lone Star State, the future of the heartbeat bill is still under debate.