The law, formerly Senate Bill 8, outlaws abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy—a time at which many people don’t even realize that they’re pregnant, as KRIS 6 News Corpus Christi notes.
Even scarier, the legislation, which Republican Governor Greg Abbott enthusiastically signed into law in May, deputizes citizens of the state to sue abortion providers who violate that six-week limit, according to Politico, as well as anyone who “facilitates” an abortion after six weeks, which includes driving someone to a clinic to get the procedure. If convicted, the guilty party will have to pay the person who successfully brought the suit to court 10,000 dollars, so this law is essentially creating a surveillance system that will largely be enforced by anti-abortion advocations.
On Monday, a group of abortion providers including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a request to Justice Samuel Alito asking that the Supreme Court block the bill before it became law, arguing that it “would immediately and catastrophically reduce abortion access in Texas, barring care for at least 85% of Texas abortion patients.” Just after midnight on Wednesday, the court decided not to intervene.
“We provide abortion out of love and compassion for Texans. We believe in our patients and their futures. We are proud to be Texas abortion providers and there is no law that will ever take that away from us,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Texas-based abortion provider Whole Woman’s Health, in a statement posted to Twitter minutes after the law went into effect.
“Abortion care in Texas is a lot different now. There’s a lot left in the air and so much work to do. But know this: We. Are. Not. Going. Anywhere.”