It was not supposed to happen, but it did.
Texas’ heartbeat bill, SB8, which bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected – usually between six- and eight-weeks’ gestation – went into effect on September 1, despite the abortion industry’s best legal attempts to get it blocked.
Abortionists are used to being allowed to kill pre-born babies pretty much unrestricted because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 rulings in Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton. For the last almost 50 years, they have been able to get many abortion laws struck down by the courts even before they go into effect.
Not this time, however.
Since the heartbeat bill was signed into law in May, Planned Parenthood and other abortion sellers have sought injunctions from the federal courts blocking enforcement of the law. They even filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court to stop the law a couple days before it was to go into effect, but the high court has yet to respond. So, the law went into effect as scheduled.
And that’s not a good sign for the abortionists.
Pro-lifers are jubilant, but they are tempered by the knowledge that the court proceedings aren’t over yet.
Focus on the Family President Jim Daly said, “And now, at least temporarily in Texas, the law is on the side of life. The very fact that the debate is centered on a human heartbeat makes something perfectly clear: Pre-born babies are not blobs of tissue – they are alive and growing human beings.”
Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values, a Focus on the Family ally, helped push the heartbeat bill through the Texas legislature. He called the bill’s successful first day “historic.”
“Today is historic for law and life,” he said. “The Texas Heartbeat Act is the first-ever law of its type to go into effect. Starting today, babies and mothers will be spared from abortion in Texas when a baby’s heartbeat is detected.”
Robyn Chambers is the Executive Director of Advocacy for Children for Focus on the Family. She spoke with The Daily Citizen about the Texas bill’s success thus far.
“We praise the Lord for this victory but know full well that abortion-rights advocates have promised to challenge this new law, and they will not go down without a fight! We must continue to pray, serve and get involved. We cannot remain silent; we must stand up for life and Focus is committed to doing just that through our sanctity of human life initiatives!”
Lila Rose, President of Live Action, tweeted her reaction to the fact that the Supreme Court had not acted to block the bill by early Wednesday morning: “It’s past midnight now in Texas. The Heartbeat Law has gone into effect. Every child with a detectable heartbeat is legally protected from being killed by abortion. Thinking of all the inestimably precious lives that will be spared today & their new lease on life. An amazing day.”
Roughly 85% of the more than 56,000 abortions that occur annually in the state of Texas happen after the 6th week of gestation. That means a lot of lives could potentially be saved under this new law. However, unless pregnant women are given an alternative, they may travel out of state to abort their babies.
Chambers does not want to see that happen. She says Christians need to step up and shoulder some responsibility to come alongside these women.
“When a woman finds herself in an unexpected pregnancy, she often panics and makes decisions she may later regret,” she said. “The church, big C church, must be ready to step into her life and offer practical solutions. Solutions that help her make a decision for life. Help that comes without shame or condemnation – help that meets her right at her most vulnerable time. Be the one that says – congratulations, you can do this and I’m here for you and your baby!”
Pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) are a first line of help for mothers with unexpected pregnancies. They need volunteers and donations to meet the needs of the women (and men) who come to them for help.
Focus on the Family just finished hosting its See Life 2021 event in Dallas with the purpose of educating and equipping the faithful to help the cause of saving pre-born babies. Through its Option Ultrasound program, Focus provides grants to PRCs for ultrasound machines that help pregnant women “see” their babies in utero. When a pregnant mother sees her baby’s head, fingers and toes move about in the womb, she will, more often than not, be convinced to choose life for her child.
No one can predict whether the Supreme Court will yet step in and throw a roadblock in the way of the Texas bill, nor what will happen in the days ahead in the lower courts in this case. But for today, we celebrate and roll up our sleeves to begin helping women in Texas – and elsewhere – choose life.
You can help save a baby’s life through donating to Option Ultrasound.
Photo from Shutterstock.