Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Bipartisan Heartbeat Bill into Law to Protect the Unborn from 'Ravages of Abortion'

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Posted: May 19, 2021 2:15 PM
Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Bipartisan Heartbeat Bill into Law to Protect the Unborn from 'Ravages of Abortion'

Source: Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, Pool

In a year that has already seen a record number of pro-life laws considered at the state level, Texas now has a law that bans abortion after a heartbeat is detected, at about six weeks past a woman's last menstrual period. Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed the bipartisan bill into law on Wednesday. 

According to a May 2019 Hill-HarrisX poll, a majority of respondents don't think laws banning abortions past six weeks are "too restrictive." Of 1,000 registered voters, 21 percent think they're "too lenient," and 34 percent think they're "just right." 

The Institute of Pro-Life Advancement, a project of Students for Life of America, found that Millennials and Gen Z support such legislation. "Millennials and Gen Z by 47% to 38% supported such a ban, and by a larger margin, 60% to 25%, supported requiring doctors to check for a heartbeat before offering to commit an abortion," according to findings from January

At this stage of pregnancy, a woman may undergo a "suction, or aspiration, D&C abortion [which] is a procedure in which a suction catheter is inserted into the mother’s uterus to extract the preborn baby," as described by Live Action's "Abortion Procedures" project. Another method is chemical abortion, "in which the woman takes pills containing Mifepristone (RU-486) and Misoprostol (or Cytotec) to end the life of the baby," and then has contractions to expel the now-dead baby. 

According to the Mayo Clinic

Growth is rapid this week. Just four weeks after conception, the neural tube along your baby's back is closing. The baby's brain and spinal cord will develop from the neural tube. The heart and other organs also are starting to form and the heart begins to beat.

Structures necessary to the formation of the eyes and ears develop. Small buds appear that will soon become arms. Your baby's body begins to take on a C-shaped curvature.

Lawsuits are likely to follow, as they have in other states that have passed similar legislation. 

According to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion legislation, as of May 1, nine other states have passed heartbeat bills. This makes Texas the tenth. An increasing number of states are considering such a ban on abortion.