TEXAS — A group of more than 20 abortion providers, doctors and clergy filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday, aimed at stopping what’s known as Texas’ “heartbeat bill.” The law that bans abortions as early as six weeks, before most women know they’re pregnant, is set to take effect in September. Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law in May.
The lawsuit is led by Whole Woman’s Health and targets a provision of the bill that creates a monetary award for those who sue abortion providers if they perform the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy.
“At the heart of this battle is a stark choice between a nightmarish future in which Texans are encouraged to turn on each other by politicians who seek total control over our most personal decisions, or a much brighter one in which people facing complicated decisions about their pregnancies can get the advice, support and care they need,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, said in a statement.
Abortion opponents hope the law can survive the courts because it’s the first in the country to use private citizens, not regulators or government officials, to enforce its restrictions.