Abortionists’ Challenge to Texas Heartbeat Act Should be Dismissed, says State Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Texas dealt another blow to abortionists’ challenge to the Texas Heartbeat Act, recommending the lawsuit be thrown out. Today’s ruling does not immediately dismiss the case but sets the law on a positive path forward. Now, the conservative-leaning Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will review the Supreme Court of Texas’ opinion, which could end the federal lawsuit.

Texas Right to Life Director of Media and Communication Kimberlyn Schwartz responded: 

“Today’s ruling is a big victory for the life-saving Texas Heartbeat Act! We have said from the beginning that abortionists’ lawsuit should be dismissed, and we’re grateful that the Texas Heartbeat Act will continue saving thousands of lives.”

The Texas justices considered whether certain agencies have the authority to enforce the Texas Heartbeat Act under the state statutes. Originally, abortionists targeted a broad list of defendants in the lawsuit, including a Pro-Life citizen, a state judge, a state court clerk, government officials, and a handful of state agencies. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected their attempt to stop the Texas Heartbeat Act from taking effect, and later dismissed several key defendants but allowed the case to continue in the Fifth Circuit against only a few state agencies. The Fifth Circuit then asked the State Supreme Court to answer whether the agencies have any role in enforcing the Texas Heartbeat Act under the state Constitution.

Supreme Court of Texas judges today agreed that the plain wording of the Texas Heartbeat Act proves that the Legislature never intended state agencies to participate in enforcing this policy, only private citizens.

If this case is dismissed, abortionists’ only legal vehicles left to target the Texas Heartbeat Act will be the abortion industry’s 14 lawsuits against Texas Right to Life.

The historic Texas Heartbeat Act has withstood every legal challenge thus far, making our state the first ever to enforce a heartbeat law. The measure protects preborn children who have detectable heartbeats (typically around six weeks of pregnancy) by authorizing private citizens to sue abortionists if they have reason to believe the law was broken. Since September 1, 2021, Texas abortionists have stopped committing abortions after six weeks, meaning the Texas Heartbeat Act stops an estimated 100 abortions per day. 

The future looks bright for preborn children in Texas. Not only is the abortion industry weakening because of the Texas Heartbeat Act, but our state may soon outlaw elective abortion entirely. The Supreme Court of the United States will rule on a Mississippi case likely in June that could overturn Roe v. Wade, which means that the issue of abortion would be decided by state legislatures. Texas is poised to immediately protect all preborn children from elective abortion if Roe is overturned.

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