AUSTIN, Texas — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday issued an opinion which will overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The move will automatically outlaw abortion in Texas in almost all circumstances.
Texas is among 13 states to have passed so-called trigger laws. Gov. Greg Abbott in July 2021 signed House Bill 1280 into law. A near-total abortion ban will take effect 30 days after the high court judgment.
The court issued its opinion Friday. A formal judgment could take 30 days, and the Texas trigger law will follow that.
The Texas ban will mean anyone who performs an abortion would face time in prison or a $100,000 fine. There are no exceptions for women who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest, or are at risk of self-harm or suicide. Women who face death or have a life-threatening physical condition due to pregnancy are excluded from the ban.
This is even more restrictive than the Heartbeat Act, which was signed into law last year. The current law bans the procedure once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is often as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, before most women know they’re pregnant.
Friday's Supreme Court opinion concerned Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a suit regarding Mississippi’s “Gestational Age Act,” which prohibits all abortions, save for a few exceptions, after 15 weeks gestational age. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only legal abortion provider in Mississippi, challenged the law.