the Texas law that changed the national abortion landscape

WASHINGTON — One year ago, on September 1, 2021, Texas Senate Bill 8 went into effect and permanently changed the country’s abortion landscape, giving serious momentum to the national anti-abortion movement. abortion that resulted in the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. this summer.

The most restrictive abortion law in the country at that time, Texas’s SB 8, which banned abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, not only dramatically reduced access to abortion, but also laid the groundwork for other states to follow suit with similar, if not identical, practices. , prohibitions.

SB 8, which relied on the threat of civil lawsuits and $10,000 fines to enforce its ban on abortions as soon as embryonic heart activity is detected, remained in effect in Texas until the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, when a pre-abortion ban went into effect.

A “trigger ban” passed by the Texas legislature in 2021, which went into effect last week, makes abortion after conception a crime.

Emily’s List, a group that supports candidates who support abortion rights, released a statement Thursday on the first anniversary of SB 8.

“Implementing this extreme abortion ban last year was just the beginning of Republican efforts to decimate abortion in the state,” Speaker Laphonza Butler said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a staunch SB 8 supporter and a key figure in Texas’ push to ban abortions, and other anti-abortion Republicans celebrated Roe’s fall against Wade and the banning of trigger now in place.

Paxton’s Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza is an abortion rights advocate and has fought for the reproductive rights of immigrant teens in detention. A recent poll shows the two are neck and neck ahead of the November election.

The 2023 legislative session begins in just four months, and many Republican lobbyists and campaign consultants expect Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to be “the decider” on how far to go on abortion — assuming the GOP continues to dominate state government.

Highlights from last year

  • September 2, 2021: Biden and Pelosi push federal action as they blast Supreme Court decision to greenlight Texas abortion law
  • September 9, 2021: Justice Department sues Texas over 6-week abortion ban that empowers legal ‘vigilantes’
  • Oct. 29, 2021: New Study Shows 50% Decline in Texas Abortions Since Sept. 1, Not the 85% Providers Predicted
  • December 10, 2021: Supreme Court authorizes Texas 6-week abortion ban and lawsuits to enforce it
  • December 10, 2021: Texas Senate Bill 8: A Timeline of the State’s Abortion Law and Its Legal Challenges
  • Feb. 8, 2022: Some states walk away from proposals to copy Texas abortion law while others push hard
  • February 28, 2022: Women’s Health Protection Act, pushed in response to new Texas abortion law, fails in US Senate
  • July 22, 2022: Parkland, UTSW study: Texas abortion law doubled risk of health problems for pregnant women
  • August 23, 2022: Under the Texas abortion ban, how will Dallas-Fort Worth DAs handle cases?
  • August 24, 2022: What Texans need to know about the abortion induction ban that goes into effect Thursday

Norman D. Briggs