Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an updated advisory clarifying which Texas laws banning abortion are in effect after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its final judgement in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The ruling overturned the landmark abortion ruling of Roe v. Wade, triggering Texas’ Human Life Protection Act to take effect 30 days after the court issued the judgment.
The new Texas law takes effect Aug. 25.
All Texas statutes prohibiting abortion predating Roe that were still on the books and never changed by the state legislature are also fully in effect, Paxton said. Since June, he’s maintained, they “are 100% in effect and constitutional.”
“Texas law in a post-Roe world has already been written,” Paxton said. “Now that the Supreme Court has finally overturned Roe, I will do everything in my power to protect mothers, families, and unborn children, and to uphold the state laws duly enacted by the Texas Legislature.”
The new law states that a “person may not knowingly perform, induce, or attempt an abortion” unless the mother has “a life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy that places [her] at risk of death or poses a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function unless the abortion is performed or induced.”
The advisory defines what an abortion is and isn’t according to Texas statute as well as penalties for violating the law. Violators could be prosecuted for committing a first-degree felony if an unborn child dies as a result of an abortion and with a second-degree felony if the child lives, according to the law. Performing an abortion also carries civil penalties of no less than $100,000 for each violation and the individual performing the abortion may lose his or her professional license.
Paxton says his office will pursue and recover civil penalties for those who violate the law and assist any local prosecutor that pursues criminal charges.
State licensing authorities will also “revoke the license, permit, registration, certificate, or other authority of a physician or other health care professional who performs, induces, or attempts an abortion in violation of” the new law, the advisory states.
The advisory was issued after Paxton appealed a decision by a Democratic judge in Harris County who issued a temporary restraining order to block pre-Roe laws from going into effect. The ruling was issued in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union and two Texas law firms representing several abortion clinics.