A new Texas law introducing exceptions to the state’s abortion ban is set to take effect on Friday.
The law, known as HB 3058, permits abortion in cases where a patient’s water breaks too early for the fetus to survive or when a patient suffers from an ectopic pregnancy, The Guardian reports.
Introduced by Democrat Ann Johnson and surprisingly supported by Republican Senator Bryan Hughes, the law highlights the complexities of abortion regulations. Critics argue the exceptions are too narrow, potentially discouraging doctors from offering abortions due to the high penalties associated with violating the state ban.
This approach signals a shift in Republican tactics, as lawmakers attempt to protect abortion bans from legal challenges by creating limited exceptions. Mary Ziegler, a law professor at the University of California, suggests this is a response to abortion rights advocates employing medical cases to challenge bans.
The Texas law was prompted by a lawsuit involving women denied abortions despite severe pregnancy complications. While seen as a step forward, concerns remain about doctors’ hesitation to perform abortions, fearing legal repercussions.
While the exceptions remain limited, some proponents view this as a starting point for broader discussions on abortion access. As the landscape of abortion rights continues to evolve, the impact of such exceptions remains a topic of ongoing debate.