Today, Michelle Tuegel, a Dallas attorney and pro-abortion activist, sued Texas Right to Life, our Legislative Director John Seago, and a multitude of other parties in a desperate attempt to block enforcement of the Texas Heartbeat Act before the law takes effect September 1.
During the 87th Regular Session, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) with bipartisan support. The policy bans elective abortions after the preborn child’s heartbeat is detectable, which typically occurs around six weeks’ gestation. The Texas Heartbeat Act is only enforceable through private civil action. When someone violates the law by performing, aiding, or abetting an abortion after six weeks, a private citizen may sue the abortionist to enforce the law.
This distinct enforcement guarantees that the preemptive lawsuits filed from the abortion industry will not be successful. However, Tuegel’s lawsuit is now the second frantic legal effort to stop the Texas Heartbeat Act, days before the law goes into effect.
Texas Right to Life has been coordinating with Pro-Life attorneys and activists around the state to prepare for enforcing SB 8, in part by creating ProLifeWhistleblower.com, where citizens can report violations of the law. Our efforts prompted Tuegel to name Texas Right to Life as a defendant in her ill-advised lawsuit. As an added measure, she named as defendants Texas Right to Life’s Legislative Director John Seago and 10 unidentified “John Does” who may file lawsuits under the Texas Heartbeat Act in the future.
Also named as defendants are Governor Greg Abbott and the Senate and House authors of SB 8 who, we should note, enjoy the protections of sovereign immunity. Attorney General Ken Paxton, also a defendant, has nothing to do with SB 8, as the law is solely enforceable through private lawsuits.
We expect an impartial court will dismiss Tuegel’s bogus lawsuit before litigation ends. Until then, we will continue our diligent efforts to ensure the abortion industry fully follows the life-saving provisions of the Texas Heartbeat Act.