The Texas Heartbeat Law: An Overview

US Supreme Court building Dobbs Roe

On September 1, a new heartbeat law (SR 8) went into effect in Texas. If you’ve read our information on heartbeat bills before, you may have assumed that Texas passed a similar law and it was immediately enjoined like all the others. No, the Texas law went into effect. Right now, in the state of Texas, abortion facilities are declining to schedule abortion appointments past six weeks LMP.

In Texas, the vast majority of abortions are now illegal, in spite of Roe and Casey. In fact, in response to an emergency appeal, the Supreme Court declined, in a 5-4 “shadow docket” decision, to prevent the law from going into effect. That decision makes no judgment on the constitutionality of the law; it’s certainly “unconstitutional” in that it violates the precedents of the Court’s prior abortion cases, whether or not Roe and Casey should themselves be considered unconstitutional.

So, how did this happen?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What Do Latin Americans Think About Abortion?

The Latin American Perspective 

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The debate on abortion has only recently come to Latin America. Only six of the 34 Latin American countries allow abortion without limitations in the first weeks of gestation, and many still consider it a crime. In countries where abortion is legal, such as Mexico, Uruguay, Cuba, and Argentina, laws legalizing abortion have been promoted by the governments and sometimes conflict with the majority opinion of the population.

On the other hand, in nations like Guatemala, the Bill for the Protection of Life and the Family seeks to increase the penalties for those who practice abortion and establishes that human life begins at fertilization. As well, in 2007, there was a modification in the Nicaraguan Penal Code eliminating the norm that allowed the termination of pregnancy when the mother’s life was in danger and imposing imprisonment for all intentional abortions. 

Although polls cannot always be trusted, it is undeniable that all the polls agree that the majority of Latin Americans do not support abortion-on-demand. Of those who support the availability of abortion at all, most only believe that it should be allowed in special circumstances, as in the case of rape or when the life of the unborn or the mother is in danger.

It is also true that the situation is not the same in all countries, but in almost all of them, international pressure has led to the emergence of two clear camps: the pro-choice movement, identified with the color green and the slogan “legal, safe and free abortion”; and, on the other hand, the light blue pro-life movement with the slogan “save both lives.” 

Green and blue woman protesting in Latin America

Abolitionists Are Going to Get People Killed, and the SBC Just Helped Them

Abortion abolitionist man talking to another man
By Steenaire, Flickr
Estimated reading time: 24 minutes

It would be an understatement to call this year’s Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting turbulent. It was marked by the departure of a key leader, moral failures of many leaders who remained, a contentious presidential election, another leader threatening to leave if he didn’t get his way (always the hallmark of a good relationship), and the decision to finally address sexual abuse by clergy.

None of the believable mistakes surprised me, even if they disappointed me. But the unbelievable mistake, an unbiblical error which will likely cost the lives of unborn children, was that this divided convention passed a resolution condemning pro-life incrementalism and supporting nothing but immediate, exceptionless abolition of abortion.

In the first section, I will print the SBC’s resolution in its entirety, though without scriptural proof texts and with added emphasis. I will then proceed to show that the SBC is aiding and abetting a group of misguided radicals whose foolish actions will result in more death, not less.

The Supreme Court Will Hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

US Supreme Court building Dobbs Roe

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization by granting a writ of certiorari. When the Court hears oral arguments in October, they will be answering this question: are all pre-viability abortion bans unconstitutional?

The Mississippi law at issue bans abortions after 15 weeks, except in life-of-the-mother cases and cases of poor fetal diagnosis. While not as direct an assault on the abortion-access framework of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey as the recent heartbeat bills, this law provides a good test case against them.

The NRAA: A Practical Alternative to Personhood Amendments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

On November 3rd, Louisianians amended their state constitution with this language: “To protect human life, nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” 

Amendments to regulate abortion are not new, but this kind of No Right to Abortion amendment (NRAA) is unique since it limits the way a state constitution can be interpreted on abortion rights. The NRAA is different from a personhood amendment, which defines ‘person’ to include humans regardless of stage of development. In this article, I will explain what the NRAA does and why we should want one in every state constitution.

A Brief History of the NRAA

In 2013, 70% of Americans opposed overturning Roe v. Wade. At that time, however, only 62% of Americans knew that Roe dealt with abortion. As of 2017, public opinion on overturning Roe remains unchanged. With the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the hope (or fear) that Roe might be overturned or reversed has grown. Pro-life and pro-choice activists have both instigated legislation to prepare for the possibility of a post-Roe America.

Supreme Court building