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In Texas

After Roe, abortion is illegal in most circumstances. Hear from Texas Values about what’s at stake, and how you can be part of the fight for life. Then, keep reading to find out more about what abortion law would be in your state after Roe.

After Roe, states will have an even greater responsibility to protect life. Partner with your state’s family policy council to ensure that your state is pro-life, from conception all the way to natural death!

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THE BIG QUESTION

After Roe, will my state ban nearly all abortions or allow nearly all abortions?

Texas bans all abortions now that Roe is overturned. In July 2021, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a pro-life “trigger law” (H.B. 1280) that ends abortion in Texas thirty days after Roe v. Wade is overturned. 2021 Tex. HB 1280 , 2021 Tex. Gen. Laws , 2021 Tex. Ch , 2021 Tex. ALS. It is important to note that Texas never repealed its pre-Roe statutes that ban all abortions, so after Roe, these statutes will drive abortion policy in Texas.

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WHAT’S NEXT

What is my state’s next step in the fight for life, once Roe is overturned?

Texas will have three immediate priorities after Roe:

  1. Make sure our state is clear that there is now a state law/policy that all abortions are illegal.
  2. Increase funding for the Alternatives to Abortions Fund.
  3. Make it illegal for Planned Parenthood and other historically abortion focused entities to operate in the state.

MORE ABOUT YOUR STATE’S ABORTION LAWS

Below, we’ve summarized what abortion laws would be in your state after Roe.

Abortion Limits, Exceptions and Enforcement

Limitations on abortions

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If my state won’t ban all abortions, what are the limits to abortion?

Because Texas has both a trigger law in place and pre-Roe statutes banning abortions that will all go into effect after Roe, Texas’s other lesser limitations would no longer be necessary. However, we’ve listed them here for your reference:

 

The Texas Heartbeat Act (SB 8) bans all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This Act is currently in effect and is being considered by the Supreme Court. More information on the act can be found here: https://texasheartbeatlaw.com/.

Texas has a partial-birth abortion ban. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. §171.101.

Abortions are also banned 20 weeks post-fertilization. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. §171.044.

Abortions are also banned in the third trimester. Tex. Occ. Code § 164.052(a)(18).


Exceptions to any limitations

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Are there any exceptions to those limitations placed on abortion?

Yes: the trigger law includes an exception for when the abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother. 2021 Tex. HB 1280 , 2021 Tex. Gen. Laws , 2021 Tex. Ch , 2021 Tex. ALS.

Yes: The partial-birth ban includes an exception to prevent a substantial permanent impairment of the life or physical health of the woman or in the case of a severe fetal anomaly. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. §171.101, .046.

The third trimester ban includes an exception for if the abortion is necessary to preserve the mother’s life or prevent “severe, irreversible brain damage” or paralysis or if the fetus has a severe and irreversible “brain impairment.” Tex. Occ. Code § 164.052(a)(18).


Penalties for performing an illegal abortion

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What are the penalties to abortion providers for committing an illegal abortion (one of the forms of abortion that my state has limited under the law)?

Violations of the trigger law are a felony of the second degree, unless the child dies as a result of the violation, in which case the violation is a felony of the first degree. 2021 Tex. HB 1280 , 2021 Tex. Gen. Laws , 2021 Tex. Ch , 2021 Tex. ALS.

Any Texas citizen with knowledge of a violation may bring a civil action to enforce the heartbeat law. https://texasheartbeatlaw.com/.

Violations of the partial birth ban are considered a felony. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. §171.101.

Violations of the 20-week ban are considered a class A misdemeanor. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. §171.044.

A violation of the third trimester ban is considered a “prohibited practice” by a physician and is grounds for disciplinary action. Tex. Occ. Code § 164.052(a)(18).


Enforcement

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When abortion laws are violated, who can file a lawsuit to enforce their rights and the law?

Violating physicians under the trigger law are subject to a civil penalty of not less than $100,000 for each violation. 2021 Tex. HB 1280 , 2021 Tex. Gen. Laws , 2021 Tex. Ch , 2021 Tex. ALS.

Any citizen can bring a private civil action against physicians who conduct abortions after detecting an unborn child’s heartbeat. 2021 Tex. SB 8.


Special standards of care

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Does my state impose a special medical standard of care on abortion providers?

No.


Protecting Fundamental Rights

Parents

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Does my state give parents the right to consent for their child to get an abortion?

Yes: Notice and consent from one parent is required; however, this state has a method where a minor can obtain permission from the courts to receive an abortion without parental notice or consent. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 33.001 to .014.


Medical professionals

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Does my state have conscience protections for medical professionals who do not want to participate in abortions?

Yes: Physicians, nurses, staff members, or employees of a hospital or health-care facility, who object to participating directly or indirectly in abortions may refuse to do so. Tex. Occ. Code Ann. §§ 103.


Babies Born Alive

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Are there legal protections for babies born alive following a botched abortion in my state?

Yes: A premature or born-alive baby after an abortion must be treated the same as any other child born alive after the normal gestation period. Tex. Fam. Code § 151.002.


Safety & Health of Women

Physician-only requirement

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Does an abortion have to be provided by a licensed physician in my state?

Yes: Only a physician licensed in Texas may commit an abortion. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 245.010(b).


Informed consent

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Does my state’s law require that a woman give informed consent and/or receive counseling prior to allowing an abortion to be performed?

Yes: Counseling and informed consent is required. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. §§ 171.011 to .016.


Waiting period

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Does my state place any waiting requirement on abortion so that a mother has more time to decide?

Yes: A 24-hour waiting period after counseling and informed consent is required. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. §§ 171.011 to .016.


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