A controversial law that prohibits abortion at six weeks of gestation has come into force this Wednesday in Texas (USA) after the Supreme Court of the country did not rule on an urgent request presented by clinics in that state to block it.
The absence of judicial intervention has made the rule, known as Law 8 of the Senate, come into force pending the adoption of a resolution by the Supreme Court, which has a reinforced conservative majority.
The legislation allows individuals to file civil lawsuits against anyone who helps a pregnant woman to have an abortion in violation of the ban. The measure practically supposes the veto of abortion in Texas, since it does not even contemplate exceptions in cases of incest or rape.
No other similar law that prohibits abortion at six weeks’ gestation, when the fetal heartbeat can be detected and many women do not yet know they are pregnant, has gone into effect in the United States.
In their emergency request to block the legislation, abortion clinics warned that the law “immediately and catastrophically reduces access to abortion in Texas, and prohibits care for at least 85% of patients” requiring intervention. of this type.
They also warned that many abortion clinics may have to close their doors.
One of the plaintiff clinics, Whole Woman’s Health, has said it has been offering services until before midnight. “Our clinical staff saw patients until 11:56 p.m., just three minutes before the abortion ban went into effect in Texas,” he tweeted.
The precedents set by the Supreme Court veto the states from prohibiting abortion before the fetus is viable, that is, when it can survive outside the mother’s body, at 22 or 24 weeks.
However, the Texas rule was written to make it difficult for the courts, since normally a lawsuit that seeks to block a law as unconstitutional names government officials as defendants. But that law prohibits state officials from enforcing the law by delegating individuals the ability to report anyone who performs an abortion.
All of this comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear in its next session, which begins in October, an appeal on a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion was recognized as a constitutional right in the US in 1973 thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in the “Roe v. Wade” case, which recognized that a woman can end her pregnancy during the first six months of pregnancy.