Texas ‘trigger law’ could outlaw abortion after SCOTUS ruling

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Texas 'trigger law' could outlaw abortion after SCOTUS ruling

If the leaked draft US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade becomes official, a Texas “trigger law” already on the books could restrict virtually all abortions in the Lone Star State within a month of the decision.

In 2021, Texas passed a law that would restrict abortions within 30 days of any high court ruling giving states the authority to outlaw abortions. Anyone who performs or helps provide an abortion could also be charged with a felony.

The law, which would restrict abortions starting at conception, makes no exceptions to end a pregnancy due to rape, incest, fetal abnormality or when a fetus is not expected to survive after birth.

The one exemption it does make is when the life or heath of the mother is at risk.

Texas currently has a controversial abortion law in place that restricts abortions after six weeks. The Supreme Court has allowed it to remain in place.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, Texas also has additional, older abortion laws that would kick in and could be used to prosecute abortion providers or funds, experts believe.

The U.S. and Texas flags wave outside the Texas Capitol on July 13, 2021 in Austin, Texas.
Texas could enforce a “trigger law” banning abortions completely if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Montinique Monroe/Getty Images
A woman carries a clothes hanger while protesting Texas’ abortion laws at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on September 11, 2021.
A woman carries a clothes hanger while protesting Texas’ abortion laws at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on September 11, 2021.
Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images
Associate Justice Samuel Alito
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito argued “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” according to a leaked majority opinion.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool
Anti-abortion demonstrators pray and protest outside of a Whole Women's Health of North Texas, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in McKinney, Texas
Texas could also prosocute abortion centers if the Supreme Court flips the Roe v. Wade decision.
AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File

The Supreme Court has not made a final ruling on abortion.

Monday night, a majority opinion that was written by Justice Samuel Alito and leaked to Politico signaled the court could be on the verge of ending abortion rights for women.

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