Under the ban, anyone who performs or abets an abortion — except the mother herself — will be charged with a felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Texas Democrats came out of the woodwork on social media to lambast the law.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke shared his first television advertisement, which states, “From this day forward, August 25, women all across Texas are no longer free to make decisions about our own body, no longer free to choose if a pregnancy is right for us or our families, not even in cases of rape or incest.”
“And women will die because of it, all because of Greg Abbott’s abortion law.”
Democratic candidate for attorney general Rochelle Garza wrote, “Today, Texas enacts the most restrictive abortion law in the nation.”
“The war on our freedoms won’t end until we defeat Ken Paxton. Let’s send him to prison for his crimes. I beat him in court before and with your help, we’ll beat him in November. Join me.”
Garza promised she would work with Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Mike Collier to make abortion legal in Texas again. Collier himself said, “I will return the power to make health care decisions to doctors and their patients, not the government,” and expressed that he would work with Garza to do it.
O’Rourke, Collier, and Garza hope to defeat their Republican opponents in November. In mid-August, O’Rourke was trailing Gov. Greg Abbott by seven points, Collier was eight points below Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and Garza was just two points behind Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Celia Israel (D-Austin), a Democratic state representative and candidate for Austin mayor, wrote, “Frankly, I’m pissed for the people of our state. No one should be shamed or punished for having an abortion.”
“Access to safe and legal abortion is a human right. I’ll fight like hell to hold my city & my state to that, just like [Garza and Collier].”
On the federal side, progressive Democrats called on Congress and the Biden administration to protect abortion at the national level.
Democratic candidate for U.S. Congressional District 30 Jasmine Crockett wrote, “Today is the today we all have been bracing for. Abbott’s Abortion Ban goes into FULL effect & because of it, innocent women will die. We can do BETOr!”
“I said it on June 24, when the Dobbs decision dropped, and it is still true to this day: no matter what the Supreme Court decided — Congress must act to protect abortion access.”
Self-described “Progressive Democrat” Greg Casar, candidate for Congressional District 35, wrote on Twitter, “We need the Biden Administration’s help – they can fight to make medication abortion available inside states where abortion is banned.” Casar also called on Texas district attorneys to not enforce the law against abortion.
Democratic members of the Texas Legislature also castigated the law as extreme and dangerous to mothers and doctors.
State Rep. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) tweeted, “Democrats raised & offered amendments on every scenario — rape, incest, ectopic pregnancies, nonviable fetuses — and Republicans voted them down. Each. Time.”
Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston) responded to Bernal, “Cruelty was always the point.”
The Texas House Women’s Health Caucus issued a statement from its chair Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin), a former nurse. It reads, “[The Human Life Protection Act] was passed without the best interests of Texans in mind. The bill’s vague and confusing language does not provide a clear direction for Texas physicians. As a result, Texas doctors will be forced into a position where they must choose between medical best practices or risk criminal charges.”
“Texas women brought us Roe vs. Wade and I truly believe Texas women will be the ones to restore access to this fundamental right.”
This week, a federal court sided with the State of Texas against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), granting an injunction against a national HHS guideline to protect “emergency abortions” for those with “emergency medical conditions.”
A group of pro-choice “support networks” also filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court to prevent the state from charging with a crime those who travel out of state to procure an abortion.
Correction: This article was corrected to state that state Rep. Celia Israel’s residence is Austin, not El Paso. We regret the error.
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Rob Laucius is the Assistant Editor of The Texan. A Texas native, he graduated summa cum laude from Hillsdale College in 2022 with a degree in History and has interned for the U.S. House of Representatives and Veterans Administration. In his free time, Rob enjoys reading and writing, watching movies, and long walks around his neighborhood.