Other six-week bans have been tested in the courts, but experts describe the Texas law as “unique” because it’s enforced by private citizens instead of public authorities. Under the new statute, private residents are incentivized to sue anyone who provides or aids and abets in an abortion, with the possibility of receiving at least $10,000 if their lawsuit is successful.
That level of civil enforcement “has never been tried to this extent before,” said Joe Pojman, the executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.
“I think the nation may well be looking to see whether this method of enforcement will survive federal and state court challenges,” he said. “This may be a dress rehearsal for the time in a matter of months that the Supreme Court does allow states to fully protect unborn babies from abortion.”