OriginallyPosted: March 5, 2019
This is an excerpt from a Dallas Morning News article to view the full article click here
Will the law be constitutional?
Similar laws in several states have lost legal challenges. In January, an Iowa state judge struck down the state’s 2018 heartbeat law, declaring it unconstitutional. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 2013 North Dakota heartbeat law, and in 2015, a federal appeals court blocked a 2013 Arkansas law that banned abortion after 12 weeks if there was a heartbeat.
The 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion, and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey from 1992 prohibits states from placing an undue burden on women seeking them.
Joe Kobylka, director of undergraduate studies for political science at Southern Methodist University, said that as the Supreme Court has understood precedent, he believes the law would be unconstitutional. But with conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the bench, he said, the court could decide differently.
“This is one of those cases where the two [President Donald] Trump appointments to the court can be absolutely crucial in determining whether the abortion right survives,” Kobylka said. “This is why states keep passing heartbeat laws. It’s an effort to move the car a little further down the road with the ultimate destination of the reversal of the abortion rights.”
Cain said the Texas heartbeat bill was written with input from top constitutional attorneys who have argued cases before the Supreme Court.
“While there is still much work to do, I’m optimistic about the path forward,” he said.
The bill was referred to the House public health committee last week, and a companion bill is expected to be filed in the Senate. READ MORE