The Texas Heartbeat Bill is now law in the state, banning the aborting of babies after six weeks gestation and putting the abortion industry on notice that providing the procedure illegally will have consequences. The law took affect Wednesday after the Supreme Court and a federal appeals court on Monday failed to act on emergency requests to stay the law.
The law, HB 1500, also allows anyone except a government official to file a civil suit against abortion providers who thwart the law.
Left-wing, pro-abortion activists are reacting in horror over Texas’ effort to protect the unborn, including so-called faith leaders who believe in the life-ending practice is somehow sanctioned by God.
New Texas abortion law spurs churches to espouse 'reproductive freedom' https://t.co/78fAjZCf32
— UPI.com (@UPI) September 1, 2021
UPI provided a platform for pro-abortion groups to speak out against the law:
The Whole Woman’s Health lawsuit alleges that the “Heartbeat Act,” which was passed by the Texas Legislature in May, was designed to stop abortion providers from getting a court order stopping the law from going into effect. Because private citizens are the ones enforcing the law, government officials can’t be sued for an injunction that would block its enforcement.
Even if the “vigilantes” lose, they still will have achieved the law’s goal of harassment and possibly bankrupt some abortion providers, the suit claims.
Texas Right to Life, which participated in the drafting of the law, says it recognized that other heartbeat bills met “expeditious deaths in federal courtrooms across the country” so it pushed for legislation that relied only on civil enforcement.
“The abortion industry is clearly attempting to float multiple far-reaching legal arguments in hopes that an activist federal judge will find one they like to thwart this pro-life law from going into effect,” the organization said in a statement. “Texas Right to Life is confident that eventually an objective and discerning legal analysis will prevail, causing the lawsuit to be ultimately dismissed.”
UPI interviewed Rev. Erika Forbes, calling her an “interfaith minister,” who is a plaintiff in the suit.
“If I was to go and sit as a clergy person in the abortion clinic with a woman who has already made her choice, and she just wants to have someone comfort her and support her as she comes out, then they’re able to sue me,” Forbes said.
Forbes is described online as a left-wing activist:
Reverend Erika Forbes is a licensed ordained interfaith minister and the faith based outreach coordinator for Texas Freedom Network. She is a lead facilitator on subjects at the intersection of spirituality, social justice, and change leadership. She is a sought-after trainer, diversity consultant and presenter at major LGBTQ conferences.
Another left-wing group, Leaders of Just Texas: Faith Voices for Reproductive Justice, said at an August 25 news conference at First Unitarian Church of Dallas that 25 churches have “earned the designation of Reproductive Freedom Congregations since 2016 and about 70 more are in the process of getting it.”
So-called faith leaders can earn that designation by speaking in favor of abortion from the pulpit and with their congregants.
The UPI report said Forbes has been criticized by “Christians who believe scripturally that Just Texas’ work is not sanctioned by God.”
“I absolutely have faith and belief that it is,” Forbes said.
UPI reported on the denominations that support aborting the unborn, including Universalist, Baptist, and Presbyterian.
Episcopal, Methodist, and Reform Judaism are among the congregations listed as in the process of earning the dubious designation.
Rev. Angela Williams, a Presbyterian pastor and Just Texas senior outreach and faith coordinator, told UPI it is up to each congregation how it lives out the designation.
“We know that God is in all of these reproductive decisions and that God is in our reproductive lives with us, whether that’s choosing to terminate a pregnancy with an abortion or having a miscarriage or navigating infertility,” Williams said. “God is in all of those conversations and in those moments of pain and sadness around reproductive decisions.”
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