Senate Bill 4 is effective December 2, 2021. Violation of the bill could lead to a $10,000 fine or up to 2 years in prison.
AUSTIN, Texas (LifeSiteNews) — On the heels of the Texas Heartbeat Act, pro-lifers can welcome another victory in the state, as Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed into law a bill prohibiting physicians or health care providers from giving women an “abortion inducing drug” after seven weeks of pregnancy.
Senate Bill 4, sponsored by state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D), was signed into law by Abbott on September 17, and is due to take effect December 2, 2021.
The bill largely prohibits the distribution of contraceptives, or “abortion inducing drugs,” implementing a ban on the drugs after the 49th day, or seventh week, of a mother’s pregnancy. Previous laws allowed the drugs to be handed out up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy.
Physicians may still distribute the drugs before the 49th day, at face-to-face meetings, but are subject to a number of requirements, including scheduling a follow-up visit no more than 14 days after giving the drug, to “confirm that the woman’s pregnancy is completely terminated; and assess any continued blood loss.”
Lucio said it was not an attempt to restrict abortions, but rather a way to protect the “health and welfare of every woman considering a drug-induced abortion.”
“Doctors need to be present when patients receive these drugs so the patient knows what to expect from normal side effects and what needs to be addressed quickly before it turns into a serious issue,” Lucio stated before the Senate when laying out the bill.
The bill does, however, stipulate that “[n]othing in this Act shall be construed as creating or recognizing a right to abortion.”
In addition, the bill also places a ban on the mailing of such drugs within the state: “A manufacturer, supplier, physician, or any other person may not provide to a patient any abortion-inducing drug by courier, delivery, or mail service.”
Those who “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” violate the bill, are deemed to commit a criminal offence carrying a penalty of between 180 days and 2 years in prison, with fines rising to $10,000.