A recently passed Texas pro-life law has already been defended by the nation’s highest court and could save countless lives every day in the Lone Star State. 

After more than 53,000 babies were aborted in Texas in 2020, the state Legislature approved the Texas Heartbeat Act, a law that makes it illegal to kill a child in the womb once his or her heartbeat is detected. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the act into law earlier this year, and on Wednesday, that legislation formally took effect statewide. Pro-abortion advocates claim this bill overtly violates 50 years of the legal precedent set by Roe v. Wade.

The Heartbeat Act uniquely allows private citizens, not government officials, to take civil legal action against physicians and clinics who continue to offer abortion services to a patient after a fetal heartbeat is detected, though the bill explicitly does not allow for the prosecution of mothers seeking to abort their child.

The bill also allows for legal compensation of no less than $10,000 to those private citizens who are victorious in their court battles with abortion providers. 

Ever since Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill several months ago, numerous abortion advocacy groups and profiteers have sued to block the legislation. However, last night, the Supreme Court of the United States voted 5-4 to deny an injunction that would have stopped the Heartbeat Act from becoming law in Texas. 

“Federal courts enjoy the power to enjoin individuals tasked with enforcing laws, not the laws themselves. And it is unclear whether the named defendants in this lawsuit can or will seek to enforce the Texas law against the applicants in a manner that might permit our intervention,” the Court wrote. 

In other words, since the Heartbeat Act specifically prohibits the state from prosecuting violators, the Supreme Court did not see any justification to get involved. They reiterated that this decision has nothing to do with the constitutionality of the law. Chief Justice Roberts joined Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer in dissenting the ruling.

“I would grant preliminary relief to preserve the status quo ante—before the law went into effect—so that the courts may consider whether a state can avoid responsibility for its laws in such a manner,” wrote Chief Justice Roberts. 

“The Texas Heartbeat Act is the strongest pro-life law to take effect since the unjust ruling of Roe v. Wade (1973). Abortionists will be required to check for the preborn baby’s heartbeat before any abortion. If the baby’s heartbeat is detected, that abortion will be prohibited in Texas,” wrote Texas Right to Life’s Kim Schwartz in a statement on Thursday. 

“Texas Right to Life celebrates this phenomenal victory for tens of thousands of preborn children who will be spared the evil of abortion.”

Griffin White

After graduating high school with an associates degree in fine arts, Griffin chose to seek experience in his field of interest rather than attend university. He describes himself as a patriotic Fort Worth native with a passion for cars and guitars. He is now a fellow for Texas Scorecard.