This section describes who can be prosecuted under the law, including anyone who performs an abortion in Texas who does not respect, does not assist, or intends to perform or support such an abortion. SEPPER: Yes. In the early 2000s, Texas lawmakers amended our homicide law to include unborn children. But there was an exception for legal medical procedures performed by a doctor. Now that virtually all abortions are illegal, virtually all abortions can be classified as homicides under Texas criminal law. This makes law enforcement entirely possible through civil lawsuits against anyone who performs, supports, or intends to support an abortion. Under the Texas Penal Code, the penalty for a first-degree sentence can be up to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. The penalty for a second-degree felony is up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. With $10,000 per abortion at stake, Coale said, there is a significant incentive for individuals to try to identify people who have had an abortion — and get them into the criminal justice system in the process. This section allows plaintiffs to sue in the county where they reside, which could be anywhere in the state (since anyone has the right to sue someone who offers or supports an illegal abortion under this law). What happens if I don`t have my parents` or guardians` consent to an abortion? A minor under the age of 18 may have an abortion without the consent of her parents or guardians by filing a request for judicial circumvention.
Judicial circumvention is the authorization of a judge to perform an abortion without the consent of your parents or guardian. The process is completely confidential. If the judge determines that you are mature enough to decide for yourself, or that it would not be in your best interests or could lead to abuse, the judge will give you a court order that you can present to your doctor. If you think you need a judicial bypass, there are lawyers who can help you. Jane`s Due Process helps minors circumvent the courts, including legal representation. She can be reached by phone at 1-866-999-5263 or online at janesdueprocess.org. The law was “triggered” when the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, the case, Roe v. Wade and allowed states to establish their own abortion laws. Providers could argue that they protect patients` right to request an abortion if it is related to the “reparation” granted by the court.
If the remedy granted by the court prevented people from having abortions, then that could be a valid defence. The Trigger Act criminalizes the practice of an abortion from the moment of fertilization, unless the pregnant patient is confronted with “a potentially fatal physical condition aggravated, caused by, or resulting from pregnancy.” The law expressly prohibits the prosecution of a pregnant patient who undergoes an abortion. What are my options for an abortion? Your doctor will perform the abortion either by giving you a pill to take or by performing a procedure in the doctor`s office. Both options are effective and safe forms of abortion. Your choice depends on a number of factors, including your preference for the stage of your pregnancy and the options available with your abortion provider. Talk to your doctor about the option that works best for you. The patient who receives such an abortion cannot be prosecuted under the law, but anyone who helps that patient can be prosecuted, including, for example, her doctor, driver, or a family member, who helps pay for the procedure. Key provisions of Texas` abortion laws are highlighted in the table below. For more information, see the Reproductive Rights section of FindLaw.
Even in jurisdictions where police and prosecutors are not actively working to identify and prosecute these cases, there is still a threat of civil lawsuits. Texas remains under Senate Bill 8, which allows any individual to sue anyone who “aids or aids” an abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. Patients cannot be prosecuted, but anyone who performs or assists in abortion can. Scott Simon speaks with Elizabeth Sepper, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, about the legal landscape of abortion access in the state. The law also states that the Texas attorney general should “take legal action” for civil damages for those who perform abortions of at least $100,000 per abortion performed, in addition to the ability to claim attorneys` fees and costs incurred. This article is designed to prevent defendants from arguing that law enforcement through prosecution effectively prevents patients from having abortions, a violation of the constitutionally protected right to abortion. Normally, according to legal experts, language to describe the remedy the plaintiff needs for the injury caused against him or her would be incorporated into the law. Since the plaintiffs are not directly affected or harmed by the abortion performed, there is no compensation for the harm. Although women have a constitutional right to abortion, states like Texas have attempted to restrict certain aspects of the procedure.
In a 5-3 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman`s Health v. Hellerstedt, a Texas law was struck down that imposed specific requirements on abortion clinics, including requiring doctors to have privileges in a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic and setting clinical standards similar to surgical centers. The court ruled that these laws are unconstitutional and unduly restrict a woman`s right to abortion services. Will an abortion put me at increased risk of breast cancer? No. Although Texas requires your doctor to read you a statement suggesting that there is an increased risk of breast cancer after an abortion, this is simply not true. Cancer and reproductive health experts agree that there is no such risk. For example, the American Cancer Society has concluded that no scientific research studies show a causal link between abortion and breast cancer. Is abortion safe? Yes, abortion is an extremely safe and common procedure. At the current rate, about one in four Americans capable of reproducing had an abortion before the age of 45. Abortions take place without major complications in more than 99.975% of cases.
This means that an abortion is about as safe as a colonoscopy. To learn what other laws govern abortion in Texas, click here. “People say certain things in their zeal about abortion that are just not very democratic, and there`s no other polite way to say it,” Coale said. The law is enforced by civilians who are “detached” to do what the state cannot do: enforce its restrictive new abortion law. Here you can find out where the process is defined in the statutes and what it means. A rapist cannot sue, but someone else can sue for an abortion provided to a rape survivor. Legal experts have said the law is a “radical extension” of reputation, which is the legal concept that determines whether one person can sue another, usually to get compensation for any kind of harm or harm. The new abortion law does not require such a relationship to the case in order to have standing to bring an action. However, the civil fine could prove to be an important part of law enforcement, as more and more prosecutors speak out publicly against criminal laws. Several major cities are considering or have passed measures prohibiting the use of local funds to investigate or prosecute abortion-related crimes, and district attorneys in five major counties — Bexar, Dallas, Fort Bend, Nueces and Travis — have said they will not lay criminal charges in these cases.