Three states—Idaho, Tennessee and Texas—had pro-life “trigger laws,” or laws that are enacted by certain circumstances, take effect on Aug. 25.
“With Tennessee, Idaho and Texas taking additional steps to protect women and unborn children from the abortion industry, Americans across the country will celebrate and welcome the lives that will be saved by these laws,” said Melanie Israel, a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation.
The “certain circumstance” that allowed for these trigger laws to take effect was the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24 as a part of a larger case called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“Victories like these are made possible by the Dobbs decision that paved the way for all Americans and their elected representatives to protect life in our laws,” Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said.
Idaho’s law, Senate Bill 1385, bans abortion and makes anyone who performs an abortion subject to a felony punishable by two to five years in prison. A first offense would also result in the suspension of the medical provider’s professional license for six months, while a second offense would result in permanent revocation.
Similarly, Tennessee’s law, call the Human Life Protection Act, bans abortion “throughout the entire embryonic and fetal stages of the unborn child from fertilization until birth.” Performing, or attempting to perform, an abortion in the state is now a Class C felony, unless it is proven that the mother’s life is at risk.
“The end of abortion-on-demand in our state is a badge of honor for Tennessee. We are proud of the fact that we will no longer tolerate those who profit from the destruction of children and the exploitation of their mothers. No longer will the abortionist have free rein in our state,” said State Rep. Susan Lynn, one of the bill’s sponsors.
Texas’ Human Life Protection Act states that “person may not knowingly perform, induce or attempt an abortion” unless the mother develops a “life-threatening physical condition” as a result of the pregnancy. Those who violate the Act can be found guilty of a first-degree felony if the unborn child dies as a result or a second-degree felony if the child lives. Violators can also incur civil penalties of no less than $100,000 for each violation, and may lose his or her professional license.
“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,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote in an updated advisory of the law.
Idaho, Tennessee and Texas join eight other states in enacting trigger laws following the fall of Roe v. Wade.
Above: The day after the Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade, pro-life advocates gathered at the Texas Capitol in Austin to celebrate.
Photo: Bob Daemmrich/ZUMA Press/Newscom