New Abortion Restrictions, Including Ban As Early As Six Weeks, Pass Texas Senate

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune

By Alexandra Hart and Wells DunbarApril 2, 2021 1:37 pm, ,

High priority bills restricting abortion access are on the move in the Texas Senate, Texas Tribune women’s health reporter Shannon Najmabadi says.

As evidenced by their low numbers, Senate Bill 8 and SB 9 “are priorities of the lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick,” who oversees the Texas Senate, Najmabadi said.

Senate Bill 8 , Najmabadi notes, is “what’s sometimes referred to as a heartbeat bill; we’ve seen these in other states,” she said. “It would ban abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy, which is before many women know they are pregnant.”

Additionally, Najmabadi says SB 8 contains “quite a bit” of new legal language that could allow “anyone in Texas sue an abortion provider if they believe they violated state law – so really opening up for potential[ly] a lot of lawsuits.”

Senate Bill 9, another Patrick priority, contains language called a “trigger ban,”  Najmabadi says. “This would ban nearly every abortion if the Supreme Court overturned or otherwise made significant alterations to the Roe v. Wade decision.”

The bills must also be approved by the Texas House before becoming law. For more, listen to our interview with Texas Tribune reporter Shannon Najmabadi in the audio player above.

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