Twiter / Alexa Garcia-Ditta
Women dressed like characters from The Handmaid's Tale protesting anti-abortion bills at the Texas state capitol during the 2019 legislative session.
As part of this legislative session's predictable push to curb reproductive rights
, Texas lawmakers have tucked language into a restrictive anti-abortion bill meant to make it harder to overturn in court, the Texas Tribune reports
What's more, the bill's added provisions would clear the way for any Texan to sue abortion providers they don't think are complying with state law, according to the Tribune
The language was added to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's so-called “heartbeat bill,” which would ban abortions as early as six weeks — a time before many women are even aware they're pregnant.
Patrick, a Republican, has made Senate Bill 8 one of his top priorities for the current session. On Tuesday, the State Affairs Committee approved the measure
to go to debate in full Senate.
Bill proponents — including its author, Bryan Hughes, R-Minneola — argue that its carefully crafted language ensures that court battles over its legality can’t hold it up from going into effect, the Tribune reports
But legal experts and women's health advocates are calling bullshit on that one.
“Regardless of how you try to dress up an unconstitutional bill, it is still unconstitutional,” Elisabeth Smith, chief counsel for state advocacy and policy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the news site.
Further, at least 10 GOP-controlled statehouses have passed heartbeat bills, and to date, all have been blocked by the courts
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