Abbott signs bill outlawing abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned


Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed a bill into law that would ban abortions in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which federally granted women throughout the U.S. the right to an abortion.

The legislation, known as House Bill 1280, would take effect if the Supreme Court “wholly or partly” overruled Roe v. Wade or if a constitutional amendment allowed states to prohibit abortions. 

The measure would make it a second-degree felony to perform or try to perform an abortion. If the fetus dies, the penalty would be increased to a first-degree felony, with perpetrators potentially facing a life sentence. 

Abortion providers could also lose their license under the legislation and face fines of more than $100,000. 

The legislation does not provide exceptions for victims of rape or incest. It provides a limited medical exemption if the pregnant person “has a life-threatening physical condition” that would be aggravated by or caused by pregnancy.

The Texas provision, known as a “trigger" bill, would take effect 30 days after Roe v. Wade was overturned.  

Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to take up a case that focused on a dispute over a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The case means that the Supreme Court, which currently holds a 6-3 conservative majority, could make a decision to impact protections guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.

Abbott in May also signed legislation that would ban virtually all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. A heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks after a person becomes pregnant.

The new heartbeat law is set to take effect at the beginning of September.

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