The Texas heartbeat law that went into effect on September 1, 2021 has saved many precious lives and has sent shock waves through the abortion industry.
By barring abortions from being performed when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, the Texas heartbeat law effectively bans abortion following the sixth week of pregnancy; at that stage of a pregnancy, pregnant moms may not yet know that they are pregnant. In a USA Today op-ed, one Texas abortion clinic director lamented that “the past few days have been perhaps the most devastating for abortion care in nearly 50 years.” Beginning on September 1, Planned Parenthood’s Texas affiliates began turning away abortion patients in compliance with the new law. While some abortion-minded Texans may, sadly, seek abortions in adjoining states, others may reconsider their decisions and choose life due to the unavailability of the abortion procedure. According to The New York Times, one pro-life pregnancy center director in Texas said that the phones had been “‘ringing off the hook’” at her office. While the heartbeat law could still be thrown out in court, untold numbers of unborn babies’ lives will be saved as long as the bill remains in effect. This is cause for great thanksgiving.
Of course, the Texas heartbeat law has provoked a fierce backlash from the abortion industry and its allies. President Joe Biden—who contends that he personally opposes abortion while doing everything in his power to maintain its legality and availability—has called the heartbeat law “almost un-American.” The Biden administration has sued the state of Texas in an effort to have the heartbeat law thrown out. Furthermore, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declared that she will bring H.R. 3755-Chu, the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), to the House floor for a vote after the House reconvenes on September 20. The WHPA is an abortion expansion bill that would maintain the availability of pre-viability abortions in the event that Roe v. Wade and related cases were overturned by the Supreme Court. The WHPA would also go beyond existing court precedents by barring various pro-life policies such as pre-abortion waiting periods, ultrasound laws, informed consent laws, and restrictions on pill abortions and telemedicine abortions.
While the Women’s Health Protection Act would appear to have no chance of passing the U.S. Senate under current rules requiring 60 votes to break a filibuster, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY14) has called upon the Senate to eliminate the filibuster in the hope that doing so would facilitate the passage of the bill. According to the Congresswoman, “‘Democrats can either abolish the filibuster and expand the court, or do nothing as millions of peoples’ bodies, rights, and lives are sacrificed for far-right minority rule. This shouldn’t be a difficult decision.’”
At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we rejoice at the lives being saved due to the Texas heartbeat law. We call on New York’s congressional delegation to vote against the WHPA, and we call upon the U.S. Senate to keep the filibuster rule in place.