Texas Gov. Abbott Signs ‘Trigger Bill’ Banning Abortion If Roe v. Wade Is Overturned

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Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed a law that would end abortion in Texas if the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade.

The “Human Life Protection Act of 2021” is a “trigger bill” that would ban abortion in Texas under one of three circumstances:

  • The issuance of a United States Supreme Court judgment in a decision overruling, wholly or partly, Roe v. Wade, as modified by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, thereby allowing the states of the United States to prohibit abortion;
  • The issuance of any other United States Supreme Court judgment in a decision that recognizes, wholly or partly, the authority of the states to prohibit abortion;
  • Adoption of an amendment to the United States Constitution that, wholly or partly, restores to the states the authority to prohibit abortion.

The legislation also recognizes that following Roe v. Wade — the 1973 case in which the Supreme Court claimed that abortion is protected under the Fourteenth Amendment — Texas never reversed statutes “that prohibit and criminalize abortion unless the mother ’s life is in danger.”

At the bill signing, Abbott asserted Texas’ desire to foster a culture of life through the legislation.

“The most precious freedom of all is life itself,” he stated. “Our Creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their lives every year before they’re even born. I’m signing a law today that will save babies from the ravages of abortion.”

Despite Abbott’s statement, State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-TX) notes that the bill does not save any babies from abortion.

“The truth is, the likelihood of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade is slim to none, which means the trigger bill will not actually save any human lives,” he told The Daily Wire. “In order to end the outright murder of innocent children, States must be willing to stand up and ban it with or without the Court’s permission.”

Slaton filed the “Abolition of Abortion through Equal Protection for All Unborn Children Act” on July 8 to invoke Texan state sovereignty to immediately ban abortion. He told The Daily Wire that he was “saddened” by Abbott’s lack of support for his legislation.

Citing the Texas Constitution — which provides that “Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States” — Slaton’s bill acknowledges “the sanctity of innocent human life created in the image of God, which should be equally protected from fertilization to natural death.”

The legislation would therefore “ensure the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all unborn children from the moment of fertilization” and “rescind all licenses to kill unborn children,” among other provisions.

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