New state law may grant people across the United States the power to sue abortion clinics, doctors or anyone who assists a woman’s abortion in Texas.
The provision was passed by the Texas legislature as part of a bill that bans abortion after a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat.
Such bans have been passed in many states, however, the law is not enforced by government officials in Texas.
In typical situations, government officials would enforce the law while clinics would be permitted to challenge the law’s constitutionality if they chose to.
As government officials are prohibited from enforcing this law, ordinary citizens, including those outside Texas, can sue clinics and anyone who violates the law. If successful, at least $10,000 will be awarded per illegal abortion.
Constitutional law professor at the University of Texas at Austin Stephen Vladeck stated, “It says the state is not going to be the one to enforce this law. Your neighbours are.”
The law is expected to take effect on September 1st which has left lawyers and doctors unsure of how to rebuke it as it’s not being enforced by the government.
Six-week bans have eventually been found unconstitutional in the past as they’ve risen through the legal system.