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Advocates protest 'Texas Heartbeat Act' outside State Capitol in Austin

Protesters were participating in a statewide performance called “Bans Off Our Bodies.” Senate Bill 8 took effect on Sept. 1.

AUSTIN, Texas — Progress Texas held a demonstration outside the State Capitol in Austin Wednesday afternoon, protesting Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), also known as the "Texas Heartbeat Act." SB 8 went into effect in Texas on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

The protest took the form of a performance called “Bans Off Our Bodies.” The protest is statewide, with demonstrations being held in Austin, Houston, Edinburg and San Antonio throughout the day.  

🚨LIVE: We’re here at the Texas Capitol with a coalition of abortion rights orgs and everyday Texans for a performance protest against the six-week abortion ban (SB 8)

Posted by Progress Texas on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

SB 8 bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks and before most women know they are pregnant. It does not make an exception for survivors of rape or incest who become pregnant as a result of the crime against them. It only allows exceptions for medical emergencies.

The bill will be “enforced exclusively” by private citizens. The bill states that nearly anyone can sue anyone who performs, has the intent to perform or helps a woman get an abortion. Those who successfully sue over violations under the new law will be awarded at least $10,000.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 8 into law in May. It is one of 666 new laws that went into effect in Texas on Sept. 1.

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