What Can the Texas Anti-abortion Law Mean for Alabama?
February 1, 2022 | View PDF
Liberal leaning states take clues from successful legislation that benefits the goals of liberal thinkers and in the same way conservatives follow the successful legislative achievements of other conservative states. Alabama and much of Texas have many similar conservative values. The influx of Californians to the more friendly tax and economic state of Texas could chip away at its mostly conservative values.
Texas Senate Bill 8 (Texas Heartbeat Act) was passed by the Texas legislature and signed by its Governor, to take effect on 1 Septemeber 2021. It prohibits the abortion of an unborn child once a fetal heart beat is detectable. Before my life as a lawyer I was an ARDMS credentialed untrasonographer by examination for ten years and opened a diagnostic ultrasound department under the direction of radiologists at two different hospitals, one here in Montgomery. This occurred in the mid to late 1970’s. I only say this to lend credibility to my personal knowledge and involvement with obstetric ultrasonography. The fetal heart is detectable by diagnostic ultrasound at 5-6 weeks gestation. While I was able to observe the sonograms performed on my wife to see my now nine year old son as he grew in her uterus, I have not otherwise been involved in sonography but marveled at the advanced details available that were not available during my active practice as a sonographer.
The Texas law well defines the terms used and points out that just because Roe v Wade allows abortion, the anti abortion laws for the State of Texas were never repealed or edited to allow abortion other than in certain cases such as medical emergencies involving the mother. You will recall that Roe v Wade became precedent and recognizes a woman’s right of privacy and abortion of an unborn child,. Prior articles that I have written on Roe v Wade provided background that historical recognition of a child was once it could thrive outside of the uterus. I have never considered that a reason to abort a helpless unborn child just because it cannot live outside of the uterus. Neither small children nor certain debilitated teens or adults can survive on their own and that would be no reason to indiscriminately decide that they should be killed.
The difference in the Texas law is that the State is not burdened with the per se enforcement but rather that private citizens can bring suit against one that provides or pays for an abortion of an unborn child that has a detectable beating heart. The award is $10,000.00 or more.
Abortion rights have challenged the law in courts including the United States Supreme Court. A Texas District Court judge did rule the law unConstitutional. The United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in the pre-enforcement stage regarding who could be named as defendents in the case and who could not. The Supreme Court also considered a Writ of Certiorari regarding the Constitutionality of the case. The United States Supreme Court determined it would not hear the case and the case, it appears instead will be remanded to the Texas Supreme Court. A Writ of Certiorari is determined by an appellate court when lower court documents are sent up to determine if it is of such national value that it should be heard. The United States Supreme Court only hears about 100-150 cases per year based on about 7,000 Writs of Certiorari that are submitted.
It is interesting that I read an NBC report where some that oppose the Texas Heartbeat law call it cruel and assert it denies healthcare to women seeking abortions. It seems to me to be pretty cruel to an unborn child to be shredded into small pieces and pulled from the uterus. How can it be considered healthcare when one woman seeks an operation on an unborn child in utero to save its life and also healthcare when you seek to destroy the unborn child’s life?
I will continue to follow this and see how other states take the que from Texas.
I hope that this has helped with your question. If you need a lawyer you can contact the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral service or ask a trusted friend about a lawyer that they might recommend.
This article is informative only and not meant to be all inclusive. Additionally this article does not serve as legal advice to the reader and does not constitute an attorney- client relationship. The reader should seek counsel from their attorney should any questions exist.
"No representation is made that the quality of legal services performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers."