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SCOTUS issues official judgment on Roe v. Wade prompting Texas' trigger law

Texas' "trigger law" makes nearly all abortions in the state felony crimes and doctors could face life in prison and fines up to $100,000.

TEXAS, USA — Texas' trigger law will go into effect 30 days from Tuesday after the Supreme Court issued its final judgment on the case that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Roe v. Wade is the 1973 decision that provided a constitutional right to abortion. The official judgment, which is separate from the opinion that was announced last month, kicks back abortion laws to individual states.

Texas had a law in place, established by the Texas Legislature last year, that would make abortions illegal almost immediately if Roe v. Wade was ever overturned. That trigger law now takes place on August 25, 2022. 

What is Texas' trigger law?

The Texas "trigger law" or "Human Life Protection Act" outlaws abortions in Texas.

It will make nearly all abortions in the state felony crimes and doctors could face life in prison and fines up to $100,000. The only exception to the trigger law is that women can get abortions if their lives are at risk. 

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On top of that, anti-abortion advocates said the goal is to add civil penalties to the law. 

Last year, Texas passed a law to ban abortions once a heartbeat could be detected, which is normally around six weeks, and when some women don't know they're pregnant. But with the trigger law going into effect in a month, nearly all abortions are illegal in the Lone Star State.  

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Whole Woman's Health, which provided abortion services at four Texas clinics until last month, has closed operations in the state, but will still be providing guidance for those seeking procedures. 

They sent a statement which reads, in part:

"We can not rely on local politicians to enforce our laws we need to make sure that we have every tool possible that if an abortionist kills a pre-born child that they will be held accountable for that death."

Texas Right to Life wants to see the legislation go further. 

The group is lobbying Texas politicians to pass a bill that would give Texas residents the right to file civil lawsuits. 

It is expected that roughly half of the states will ban abortion through trigger laws.

For Texans, the nearest states to get an abortion would be New Mexico or Louisiana. 

Credit: KHOU

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