Abortion bill expected to be challenged, centers are ready to help women

Posted at 10:49 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 23:49:17-04

Support centers are ready to help women who may be affected by an abortion bill that was signed Wednesday by Governor Abbott.

The law goes into effect in September.

"Millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion, in Texas, we work to save those lives," says Abbott after signing the law.

The Texas version of the abortion legislation is different from similar bills in other states as it bans women here from having an abortion if there’s a heartbeat, which can happen as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy.

It also allows people to sue women or abortion provider who undergo the procedure

"A general rule of the law is if the government cannot regulate it directly, it cannot empower other citizens to empower other citizens to regulate indirectly through lawsuits either," says Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Jeffrey Dixon.

Dixon says the law will almost certainly be challenged before September, it's just a matter of who will be sued to stop the law from being enforced.

"There is a constitutional right to choose whether to have an abortion at least in the first trimester of pregnancy and to the lesser extent depending on which decision you consult after that," says Dixon.

According to the CDC's abortion surveillance, in 2018, the abortion ratio was 189 abortions per 1,000 live births for women 15 to 44.

Places neutral in the argument like Care Net Pregnancy Center of Central Texas says the law could increase the number of women they see.

"We are a place where there's no judgment, we want to give these women information, give them information on things they maybe haven't thought about. We want to be there for them no matter what they choose," says Deborah McGregor the CEO of Care Net.

The center offers women multiple resources from before, during and after pregnancy such as testing, counseling and shelter for mom and baby.

And while they don't help women get an abortion, they do provide support for those who do.

"We absolutely call them to check up on them we'll go to the hospital if they have to go to the hospital to sit with them because most of the time...They're ashamed even to go into the hospital," says McGregor.

The center says most women that visit the center know they're pregnant before the 6-week mark.

They welcome any women in need of help, as their services are free.