Appeals Court dismisses challenge to Texas ‘heartbeat’ law

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by abortion providers to overturn the controversial Texas ‘heartbeat’ law which bans abortion after six weeks’ gestation, CBN News reports.

The court said the plaintiffs cannot sue the state of Texas over Heartbeat Act (SB 8): the law bypasses the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court ruling that abortion is legal up to viability by handing enforcement of the legislation to private citizens.

Under the law, anyone from any state can file a civil lawsuit against anyone, including drivers and spiritual advisers, who assist a woman seeking an abortion in Texas. The person suing can claim up to $10,000 in compensation from those assisting the woman.

The three-judge appeals court panel sent the case back to the Texas Supreme Court with instructions to dismiss all challenges to the law. “This court REMANDS the case with instructions to dismiss all challenges to the private enforcement provisions of the statute and to consider whether plaintiffs have standing to challenge,” the court said.

The law has caused widespread outrage with critics claiming it encourages bounty hunting, spying on neighbors, and vigilantism against vulnerable women, many of whom would not even know they are pregnant at six weeks’ gestation.

Nevertheless, Texas lawmakers and anti-abortion activists claim the law has succeeded in greatly reducing abortion in the state. The Texas Right to Life group said in a statement: “We believe every woman and child is made in the image and likeness of God and deserves protection. The fact remains that despite the best efforts of the global abortion industry, thousands of lives are still being saved by the historic Texas Heartbeat Act.”

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