Texas Alliance for Life characterized the ruling as a victory, but noted that thousands of abortions are still performed each year in Texas because of the legal framework of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.
“We look forward to a ruling by the Supreme Court in June that could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade. If that happens, another law, the Human Life Protection Act, will go into effect, completely protecting unborn babies from abortion beginning at conception,” said executive director Joe Pojman.
The Texas Heartbeat Act, in effect since September 2021, bans abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat except in medical emergencies. Instead of providing for enforcement by the state — which would likely be declared unconstitutional in court — the law relies on private lawsuits filed by citizens to enforce the ban. This framework allows for awards of at least $10,000 for plaintiffs who successfully sue those who perform or aid and abet abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.