TEXAS, USA — Thursday is a big day in the fight over abortion as Texas’s trigger law officially takes effect.
The last time abortion was fully banned in Texas was nearly 50 years ago in 1973, before Roe v Wade. Come Thursday, abortion will be nearly fully banned once again.
“It will be a felony in Texas to perform an abortion except where the life of the mother is seriously in danger by continuing the pregnancy," Law Professor at the University of Houston Law Center Seth Chandler said.
Chandler said if a person is caught performing an abortion in Texas, surgically or by providing medication, knowing it’ll be used for an abortion, that person may be charged with a felony with a punishment of up to life in prison.
On top of that, the possibility of civil penalties is still in place from Senate Bill 8.
“So that in addition to facing life in prison for performing an abortion, you might be able, under SB8, to be sued multiple times all over Texas at $10,000 a pop, plus you’re going to lose your license," Chandler said.
And because performing an abortion in Texas is now a crime, so is aiding and abetting the procedure.
“If I give you money, knowing that you are going to use it for an abortion in Texas, we’re not talking abort travel outside of Texas, knowing that you’re going to use it for an illegal abortion in Texas, then I have aided and abetted," Chandler said.
According to the law, there are only a few exceptions: to save the mother’s life, end an ectopic pregnancy or remove a miscarried fetus.
But Chandler said the law is written so that if a pregnant women were to get an illegal abortion, she would not be penalized.
“The woman herself does not commit a crime. The pregnant woman is not, currently under this law, guilty of anything. It’s the person who performs the abortion," Chandler said.