Texas’ controversial 6-week abortion ban went into effect on Sept. 1, after the Supreme court and federal appeals failed to come to an agreement on the emergency requests presented by abortion providers, CNN reported.
The strict policy now gives private citizens the right to sue anyone who assists a pregnant individual seeking to have an abortion within the outlawed timeframe, including the abortion facility and even healthcare officials. This is the first time this has happened in history.
“What ultimately happens to this law remains to be seen,” Supreme Court analyst and University of Texas Law School professor Steve Vladeck told CNN, “but now through their inaction the justices have let the tightest abortion restriction since Roe v. Wade be enforced for at least some period of time.”
Politico notes that those in violation of the law could be faced to pay hefty fees of up to $10,000 to a person who wins a potential suit in court. Abortion rights groups believe this will cause an even bigger problem for those looking to undergo the procedure.
RELATED CONTENT: New Texas Abortion Law Violates Reproductive Justice Rights, Especially For Black Women
Texas has a long and complicated history with abortions. The state already prohibits women from getting an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is often far before an individual knows they are pregnant. Texas’ tough abortion rules don’t provide leeway for rape or incest victims, although some cases can be considered medical emergencies.
Abortion providers have fought with the Supreme court to temporarily block the ban while authorities come to a clear decision, citing that if the stringent ban were able to go into effect that it would “immediately and catastrophically reduce abortion access in Texas” causing a wave of abortion clinics to close.
The ACLU responded to the news of the ban in a series of Tweets calling the strict piece of legislation “a full-scale assault” on the healthcare system.
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