Friday, May 14, 2021

Texas Passes Heartbeat Abortion Law With Broad Civil Enforcement Provision

Today the Texas legislature sent to Governor Greg Abbott for his signature SB8 (full text), the state's version of a "heartbeat" abortion law. Except in medical emergencies, it bans performing or inducing an abortion if the physician has detected a fetal heartbeat. Unique to the Texas law is a provision that allows any private person to bring a civil action against a physician who has violated the statute, and against anyone who knowingly aids or abets the abortion, including reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance, regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in violation of the statute. However, no action may be brought against the woman on whom the abortion was performed. Plaintiff may recover statutory damages of not less than $10,000 for each abortion the defendant has been involved in. Daily Beast reports on the new statute. [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]