Texas Files ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bill

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Supporters of Texas women's right to reproductive decisions rally at the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas.

Because there wasn’t enough abortion drama in Texas, three Republican lawmakers have filed a measure to criminalize abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected—it normally is heard around six weeks into a pregnancy. The Texas legislature has been holding a special session to discuss abortion restrictions after attemptimg to ban abortion after 20 weeks riveted the nation. To detect a fetal heartbeat at the earliest stage, as this law proposes, typically requires an invasive probe rather than an outer-body ultrasound. North Dakota recently passed a similar bill.