Texas State Capitol in Austin. (Nclauzing/Getty Images) We should celebrate the Texas heartbeat bill and seek more victories for the pro-life cause.
The pro-life cause has just secured a major victory for the unborn and their mothers, with further protections possible soon — if its champions stay courageous and don’t flinch. The Supreme Court’s decision to leave the Texas Heartbeat Act standing was an unexpected blessing and has resulted in an estimated hundreds of abortions prevented thus far. The goal of the pro-life movement has always been to make abortion illegal and unthinkable. Texans are doing just that, in defiance of the undemocratic stifling of debate wrought by the Supreme Court years ago . . . and we should celebrate it and support them. Political leaders need to speak up — this law has the potential to save a hundred or more unborn children with beating hearts from the brutality of abortion each day it is in effect.
The Heartbeat Act was co-authored by eleven pro-life women legislators, debated and voted on by the 181 members of the state legislature, approved with a bipartisan majority, and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. It is both the result of and a response to 50 years of undemocratic rule by unelected judges imposing their own policy views and calling it constitutional law — taking the fundamentally political questions surrounding this primal issue out of the hands of legislatures, making it impossible for states to enforce their legitimate interest in protecting unborn life in any substantial way.
Instead of resolving conflict over abortion policy, the Court’s prior actions have provoked it — as former justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once observed — and left our politics profoundly unsettled. After five decades, states are more eager than ever to challenge the status quo. Some 500 pro-life bills have advanced at the state level this year alone, more than at any point since Roe v. Wade, with approximately one in five being enacted into law.
This fall, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could give states the flexibility they
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