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Second Major Abortion Law Takes Effect in TX, This Time Targeting Abortion Pills


ABOVE: Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, appeared on the Thursday edition of CBN News' Faith Nation to discuss the second Texas abortion law. Faith Nation is seen weeknights on the CBN News Channel

Just one day after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could give states more power to limit abortion in the future, a second major abortion law went into effect in Texas Thursday. 

As CBN News reported in September, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed the law known as Senate Bill 4 that set boundaries for the use of abortion-inducing drugs in the Lone Star State. 

KHOU-TV reports the law prohibits a person "from providing an abortion‑inducing drug to a pregnant woman without satisfying the applicable informed consent requirements for abortions." It also requires doctors to comply with reporting requirements.

Any physician or health care practitioner or facility that defies the new law could be charged with a criminal offense and sentenced to time in jail. 

Senate Bill 4 also bans the use of drugs for patients who are more than seven weeks pregnant. And it prohibits the delivery of abortion-inducing drugs through mail or delivery service, so the drugs can't be ordered from across state lines.

The law also limits when pregnancy medication abortions can be prescribed from 70 to 49 days. 

About 60 percent of abortions conducted before 10 weeks are medication abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which favors abortion rights.

As CBN News reported, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the earlier Texas heartbeat law to stay in place while lawsuits against it proceed.

The heartbeat law protects unborn persons once their heartbeats are detected around six or seven weeks into a pregnancy. And it puts the onus of enforcement on private citizens who are rewarded for bringing lawsuits against anyone who performs an illegal abortion. 

The law has reportedly led to an 80% reduction in abortions in the nation's second-largest state.  It has been in effect since September, aside from a district court-ordered pause that lasted just 48 hours. 

The Justice Department filed suit over the law after the Supreme Court rejected an earlier effort by abortion providers to temporarily block the ban, CBN News reported in October

In early October, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman ruled for the administration, putting the law on hold and allowing abortions to resume. 

Two days later, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put the law back into effect.

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