Pro-choice advocates protest abortion law at Texas Capitol
AUSTIN, Texas - After inaction from the United State Supreme Court before Sept. 1, Texas' Senate Bill 8 took effect.
It is against the law to perform an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. This can be around the five-and-a-half to six week mark.
"SB 8 is one of the most egregious anti-abortion bans in the country," said Aimee Arrambide, with AVOW Texas.
The new law is not being welcomed by many pro-choice advocates who rallied at the state Capitol Wednesday, saying the law is radical and infringes on women’s rights.
"We have a right to decide whether or when we have children, and we are not alone and we are not going away," said state Sen. Sarah Eckhardt (D-Austin).
Eckhardt said she will continue to fight the law and use her position in the legislature to do so. "It's emotionally difficult to sit in that chamber listening to the misinformation, the disinformation, the attacks on our friends, families, and doctors. All eyes are on Texas, and we are unfortunately at the forefront of this," she said.
The law also deputizes citizens, allowing anyone to sue anyone aiding and abetting an abortion, as well as an abortion provider. Supporters of the bill say it's a win that will protect lives.
"Abortion is not healthcare. We want to see all vulnerable life protected from the pre-born to all the way through vulnerable patients," said Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate at Texas Right to Life.
The challenge to the bill now sits in Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's hands.
"He can either put in place an emergency stay, blocking the law from continuing to be enforced, or he can reject that. We want to see the law upheld and continue to be enforced and enacted," said Parma.
In the meantime, abortion providers such as Whole Woman's Health and Planned Parenthood have said they are complying with the new state law as of Sept. 1. Whole woman's health said their last legal abortion before the law took effect was performed at 11:56 pm on Tuesday.
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