Texas Republican introduces bill to ban abortions after six weeks

Yesterday was a bad day for abortion access in Texas. Governor Rick Perry signed the state’s new law banning abortions after 20 weeks, and hours later a Republican state represenative filed a proposed bill to restrict reproductive options even further. At RH Reality Check Robin Marty writes:

On Thursday, Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) introduced HB 59, a “prohibition on abortion after detection of a fetal heartbeat.” The bill would ban abortions even earlier in gestation than HB 2, negating one aspect of the newly-signed law, which as of September will ban abortions after 20 weeks (if it is not tied up in litigation by then). But a limited period for debate in the special session, as well as a history of heartbeat laws not being implemented, leaves the future of the proposed bill in doubt.

Although the text of HB 59 has not been released, similar heartbeat bans have popped up in other states in the last few years, all designed to ban abortion at the point when an embryonic heartbeat can be detected. In some cases, that could be as early as six weeks’ gestation (or four weeks after conception), which is before many people are even aware they are pregnant.

While Texas reproductive justice advocates geared up for yet another fight, feminists took to the Twittosphere to point out just how short six weeks really is. The hashtag #ThingsThatTakeLongerThan6Weeks has already inspired some gems, below, and is on the edge of virality. Retweet for choice?

6 week tweet6 week tweet
6 week tweet6 week tweet


Washington, DC

Alexandra Brodsky was a senior editor at Feministing.com. During her four years at the site, she wrote about gender violence, reproductive justice, and education equity and ran the site's book review column. She is now a Skadden Fellow at the National Women's Law Center and also serves as the Board Chair of Know Your IX, a national student-led movement to end gender violence, which she co-founded and previously co-directed. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she is the co-editor of The Feminist Utopia Project: 57 Visions of a Wildly Better Future. She has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice at campuses across the country and on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, ESPN, and NPR.

Alexandra Brodsky was a senior editor at Feministing.com.

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