Federal Judge Blocks the Texas Heartbeat Law


Jay Sekulow

October 7, 2021

5 min read

Pro Life



A federal judge just issued a 113-page order striking down the Heartbeat bill that was put in place by the Texas legislature that bans abortions once a heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks. As we told you, the Supreme Court refused to block an abortion ban in Texas, but Planned Parenthood couldn’t accept that and went back to the federal judge who then decided to block this abortion ban at President Biden’s request.

ACLJ Senior Counsel CeCe Heil explained what the Texas Heartbeat Act exactly means:

So in this law, basically Texas stated that once a heartbeat is detected, it is unlawful for a doctor to perform an abortion. So, the catch is, it is not the state that is going to enforce it. It is going to be an individual that enforces it. That is what has caused the problem. There is really no one to enjoin. [The abortion industry] can’t enjoin the state. Who do they enjoin? And that’s the problem. It stops abortions once a heartbeat is detected, but the enforcement is in the hands of an individual.

There are a series of pro-life cases coming up through the courts. There is the Dobbs v. Jackson case over the legal fallacy of Roe v. Wade, South Dakota’s informed consent case, and the Texas heartbeat case. 

As these abortion cases pop up, there’s also a Capitol Hill fight happening over the Hyde Amendment. ACLJ Director of Government Affairs Thann Bennett explained the political landscape in Washington, D.C.:

All of these fights in the states really are set against the backdrop of the debate that is taking place in Washington, D.C. There is an all-out assault right now . . . on these state efforts not only to just regulate abortion . . .  many of these efforts are actually for the benefit of the woman seeking an abortion, whether it is an ultrasound, whether it is making sure the facilities have certain safety standards. . . . Those are the types of laws that are taking place in those state legislatures. . . . The state has different standards, well that’s appropriate in this situation. But, Washington, D.C., is trying to stop that. In addition to the Hyde Amendment fight . . . the House of Representatives has actually already passed a bill. They call it the Women’s Health Protection Act, but it’s really the Abortion on Demand Act. . . . What that bill would do is wipe those state laws off the books, and it would say to every state across the country you can’t enact any restriction going forward. And that is the D.C. backdrop against which all of these states are engaging.

ACLJ Senior Counsel for Global Affairs and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was part of an Administration that fought for the unborn. Now with one change in Administration, the pro-life movement is under attack. He explains the shift in Administrations:

In everything we did, we believed that protecting every human life, treating every human being with the dignity that they deserved, because they are made in the image of the Creator, was important. It was important as a domestic matter to make sure we supported states who are trying to get their laws right. . . . Within a few weeks of taking office, the Biden Administration turned this all on its head and is now probably the most pro-abortion Administration that we’ve seen in at least 30 or 40 years. . . . My second thought . . . is that we watched this spending legislation, 3.5 trillion dollars, move forward, they are trying to take the Hyde Amendment out. . . . This is a pretty radical set of ideas. I think the American people are seeing through this. And the reason you’re seeing so much war to protect life take place in our courts today is because I think the American people, by and large, can see the horrors of abortion. . . . And they can see that this is the right course for our nation. . . . No other country has as many late-term abortions as the U.S. does. We should work to eliminate that.

That’s exactly what the ACLJ is doing – working to eliminate abortion. We’ve submitted written testimony on the Texas bill. We’ve also filed three critical amicus briefs at the Supreme Court over the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that could undo Roe v. Wade. We’re also representing Governor Kristi Noem and the State of South Dakota in federal appeals court to uphold the state law protecting women from coerced abortions. We are at the forefront of the abortion issue.

Another issue we’re fully engaged in is the crisis on our southern border. Sec. Pompeo points out in his new article how the border crisis continues to get worse and gives further analysis of the situation:

The ACLJ . . .  has done great work on these two issues. We have just talked about the protection of human life and now we are talking about protecting the U.S. from the threat that comes from having a wide open border – literally chaos on our southern border. . . . There is no reason to believe the Biden Administration is going to do so much as to attempt to maybe slow it down for a few hours. . . . This is going to be enormously destructive to small communities all across America. . . . These are things that I never thought I would see happen in the U.S. because they reflect such an utter disregard for the American people to open those borders; and to not to secure American sovereignty presents a real risk to families . . . not just on the border states, but all across the country.

Our scope of work lies at the local, state, country, and global levels. We will continue to press this Administration on these important issues and provide updates as they come.

Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of a federal judge blocking the Texas Heartbeat law and the border crisis.

Watch the full broadcast below.