ACLU files federal lawsuit targeting Texas abortion law


FILE – In this Nov. 30, 2005 file photo, an anti-abortion supporter stands next to a pro-choice demonstrator outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 61% of Americans say abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances in the first trimester of a pregnancy. However, 65% said abortion should usually be illegal in the second trimester, and 80% said that about the third trimester. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO)—The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to block a new state law that allows individuals to sue anyone assisting a woman with getting an abortion.

The law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott puts Texas in line with more than a dozen other states that ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, as early as six weeks.

The Texas law, set to take effect September 1, goes further by encouraging citizens to help enforce the ban by giving them at least $10,000 if their court challenges are successful.

The lawsuit was also filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood on behalf of several other groups.

“Senate Bill 8 is extremely dangerous and unprecedented, and we are asking a court to block it before it takes effect on September 1,” said the ACLU on Twitter.

Texas law currently bans abortion after 20 weeks, with exceptions for a woman with a life-threatening medical condition, or if the fetus has a severe abnormality.

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