Abbott signs ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill, banning most abortions

By Megan Wehring

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law legislation Wednesday, May 19 that prohibits abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is as early as six weeks.

“[The Texas Legislature] worked together on a bipartisan basis to pass a bill that I’m about to sign that ensures that the life of every unborn child who has a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion,” Abbott said during a video posted on Facebook.

Under Senate Bill 8, abortion providers would be required to determine there is not a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion and the procedure would be prohibited if one is detected. Exceptions can be made for medical emergencies but not for rape or incest.

Private citizens would also be allowed to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps someone get an abortion.

The law will take effect on September 1, 2021.

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About Author

Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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