Lawsuit challenging Texas ‘heartbeat bill’ filed by ACLU, others


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Several groups banded together to file a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a new Texas abortion law set to go into effect Sept. 1.

The bill, known as the “heartbeat bill,” bans abortions as soon as a heartbeat is detected in a fetus, and that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, long before a woman could actually know she’s pregnant. The bill also encourages people to sue anyone who assists in abortion after a heartbeat is detected by giving them up to $10,000 if the challenge is successful.

The American Civil Liberties Union, as well as Whole Women’s Health, Center for Reproductive Rights Planned Parenthood and other organizations and medical professionals are all plaintiffs in the suit.

The ACLU says the law allows activists to “act as bounty hunters” and seek out strangers to try to collect money.

Gov. Greg Abbott, surrounded by Texas lawmakers, signed the bill into law in May. Abortion and women’s rights advocacy groups vowed to challenge the suit as Roe v. Wade also faces new legal challenges.

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