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What happens next for abortion law in Texas

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Friday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that there’s no constitutional right to abortion will radically change the reproductive health landscape in Texas.

The state’s Republican leadership has long sought to ban abortions, but Roe v. Wade has kept lawmakers from doing so. With that 49-year-old case now overturned, a trigger law will go into effect in 30 days that bans all abortions from the moment of fertilization, except in rare cases to save the life of a pregnant patient or prevent “substantial impairment of major bodily function.”

The Texas Tribune has been covering the fight over abortion rights for years. Here’s what you need to know about the ruling and how it will affect Texans:

Last year, the Legislature passed a so-called “trigger law” that would go into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, making performing abortion a felony.

The law would make an exception only to save the life of the pregnant patient or if they risk “substantial impairment of major bodily function.” Doctors could face life in prison and fines up to $100,000 if they perform abortions in violation of the law. People who had abortions would not be prosecuted under the law.

Last year, the Texas Legislature passed a law, Senate Bill 8, that banned the procedure at around the sixth week of pregnancy. The law used a unique enforcement mechanism that relied on private citizens to enforce it, since Roe v. Wade was still in effect when it passed.

When the law went into effect, abortions plummeted by half.

Around 50,000 to 55,000 Texans obtained abortions each year from 2014-21. Before that, more than 60,000 abortions were obtained yearly. These totals account only for abortions performed legally in Texas and don’t include people who went out of state or obtained abortion-inducing medication without a prescription.

Around 50,000 to 55,000 Texans obtained abortions each year from 2014-21. Before that, more than 60,000 abortions were obtained yearly. These totals account only for abortions performed legally in Texas and don’t include people who went out of state or obtained abortion-inducing medication without a prescription.

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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.
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