New Texas 'Trigger Law' will increase penalties for abortion providers

Posted at 7:46 PM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 07:05:28-04

Beginning Thursday, a new Texas statute — known as the Trigger Law — will increase penalties for abortion providers.

Some say it'll intensely reduce the likelihood for a woman being able to get an abortion in the state.

Doctors can face up to life in prison and be charged with a civil penalty of $100,000 or more for each abortion performed.

"For doctors they better not perform an abortion because, depending on the ultimate outcome, it's either a first-degree felony or a second-degree felony to now perform an abortion in Texas," said Lucas Loafman, associate professor at Texas A&M Central Texas.

Some exceptions do exist, including if the pregnancy places a woman at risk of death or poses a serious risk to bodily function, Loafman said. Defining and determining what puts a woman at risk, however, is where things can get complicated, the professor said.

Copperas Cove resident Brenda Cuney spoke of her life-threatening pregnancy.

“I hope that the current climate will be as such to save a life, as a doctor did for myself," Cunet said,

When Cuney was 26 years old, she had a near-death experience — a tubal pregnancy.

The CDC classifies tubal pregnancies to be potentially life-threatening.

“Prior to being told that I started feeling better and he told me, 'Well, I'll let you go home, but they will bring you back DOA because you are pregnant, were pregnant, and have a whole baby floating on about two points of blood,'" Cuney said. "He said, 'and I need to get you to a surgery stand, but I was given a choice, 'Yeah, you can leave if you want to but they’re going to bring you back dead.' ”

Still, Loafman said, doctors and the court will have to determine what is considered life threatening to decipher whether a woman has the grounds to receive an abortion in the state of Texas.