Texas abortion bill draws protesters and supporters to state Capitol — either to praise it or stop it

Protests

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The reverberations of Texas’ controversial “heartbeat” law continue weeks after the passage of Senate Bill 8, the most restrictive abortion legislation in the country.

Protesters and supporters of the Texas GOP-led law, which bans abortion after six weeks — before most people even know they’re pregnant — held opposing rallies at the Texas State Capitol on Saturday.

The group Heartbeat Worship ATX holds a rally in support of Texas’ recently passed abortion restrictions (KXAN/Mariano Garza)

The group Heartbeat Worship says it gathered in celebration of “mothers and fathers who are in the process of making the decision to choose life.” Heartbeat Worship’s event featured dancing, the group says in response to a past event of women protesters dressed in “The Handmaid’s Tale” garb and “dancing for ill.”

“I am a dancer, and I use dance to worship the Lord,” Heartbeat Worship ATX’s event page reads.

Meanwhile, the Austin National Organization for Women, called Austin NOW, hosted its protest against the law, which has been viewed by many as essentially a complete ban on abortion procedures.

Austin NOW urges:

“This law effectively overturns Roe v. Wade for people in Texas and we know it won’t stop there. If this is not overturned, similar laws could be enacted in states across the country, disproportionately impacting marginalized communities.”

Austin NOW

SB 8 makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott faced fervent criticism for this facet of the bill, especially earlier this month when he opined that the law didn’t force rape/molestation victims to have their children because they still had the six week-period to get a procedure.

Instead, Abbott said Texas would “eliminate rape.”

SB 8 has captured national and international attention since going into effect on Sept. 1, with President Joe Biden calling it “unconstitutional.” When the bill made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the majority conservative court allowed the law to stand.

The “heartbeat bill” currently faces many challenges both statewide and nationally. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has also promised the federal Department of Justice would protect those who do seek abortions.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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