Texas has passed legislation that bans abortions after the unborn baby has a heartbeat. Pictured: the Texas Capitol dome. (Photo: Bo Zaunders/Getty Images)
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that Texas had passed an abortion ban protecting “every unborn child with a heartbeat.”
“The heartbeat bill is now LAW in the Lone Star State,” Abbott tweeted Wednesday. “This bill ensures the life of every unborn child with a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion.”
Texas’ Heartbeat Act bans abortions after the unborn baby has a heartbeat. By the end of the fourth week of pregnancy, according to the Cleveland Clinic, the unborn baby’s tiny heart tube will beat about 65 times a minute, and the baby’s heartbeat can be detected by about six weeks.
The law, which makes exceptions for medical emergencies but not in cases of rape or incest, gives private citizens both in and out of Texas the power to sue abortion clinics or individuals who help women obtain abortions, according to the Texas Tribune. This may make the law more difficult to challenge in court, the publication noted.