Texas Representative Hughes on How the “Heartbeat Act” Creatively Removed Obstacles to Protecting Children in the Womb

Texas Representative Hughes on How the “Heartbeat Act” Creatively Removed Obstacles to Protecting Children in the Womb


By Kevin Burke, LSW

Representative Bryan Hughes serves District 1 in the Texas Senate and is the author of Senate Bill 8, the Heartbeat Act.  Here are a few highlights from his recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Hughes responds to some recent misinformation about the Texas Bill:

“The law does not ban abortions after six weeks. It requires that a physician performing an abortion first check for a fetal heartbeat. If there is a heartbeat, the physician may not abort the child.”

Hughes counters the pro-abortion propaganda that pro-lifers are “fetus-lovers” who don’t care about mothers and children after they are born:

“Last year the state’s Alternatives to Abortion program provided support to more than 100,000 pregnant women and adoptive parents through counseling, classes, car seats, diapers and other necessities. This year we added more than $20 million to the program, bringing total funding to over $100 million.”

Some liberal district attorneys in Texas refuse to enforce laws regulating abortion.   Thanks to the pioneering work of Attorney Jonathan Mitchell, who crafted the Heartbeat legislation, a creative strategy was developed to work around obstacles to enforcing state prolife laws:

“In the case of abortion, the wronged party has been extinguished. If we can’t depend on criminal enforcement, even if Roe is overturned, and the party who directly suffered harm cannot bring a claim, what’s left? Someone else must enforce the law.”

Citizens often initiate lawsuits to bring about justice in cases where it is not possible to have governmental authority advance their cause.  


“Unlike other such laws passed in other parts of the country, the Heartbeat Act does not empower any governmental authority to mete out punishment for the crime. Instead it decrees that the doctor may be sued [by citizens] for breaking the law.”

Representative Hughes ends his piece by affirming the need for states to get creative in removing obstacles to protecting children in the womb.  At the same time, efforts must continue to advance those cases which challenge Roe V Wade:

“The Heartbeat Act was necessary because Roe v. Wade attempted to take the question of abortion out of the hands of American democracy. Like it or not, states will keep crafting unconventional means of regulating abortion until the Supreme Court puts the question back where it belongs.”

Amen. Read the full article here.


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