The XX Factor

Texas Republicans Introduce Another, Even Stricter Anti-Abortion Bill

Sign not to be taken literally

Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

This morning I asked: What’s next for Texas? I didn’t realize I’d get an answer so quickly!

Like the lush at the bar who can’t stop himself from ordering one more round, some Texas Republicans don’t know when it’s time to give it up for the night. Drunk off the win of passing a bill into law that will shut down most abortion clinics in the state and ban abortions after 20 weeks, three Republican state legislators introduced yet another anti-abortion bill Thursday.


This one, which is even less likely to get far in the lower courts than the one Rick Perry just signed, would ban all abortions after a heartbeat can be detected through a transvaginal ultrasound. That means it could ban abortions as early as six weeks, though functionally, I can’t imagine many doctors would be willing to practice abortion at all for fear that anti-choicers would claim that they didn’t try hard enough to find the heartbeat. 

The special session is over on July 31, making it unlikely this bill will pass. It’s just a bit of religious right grandstanding, an entry in the endless contest of who can control women best. The medically unnecessary regulations in the newly signed law still remain the anti-choice movement’s best legal bet for eliminating safe, legal abortion in conservative states.