Texas AG vows to enforce abortion laws with Roe overturned

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation) — Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case Friday, effectively ending federal constitutional protections for abortion, progressive prosecutors around the country are declaring they won’t enforce the new ruling.

For example, in Texas — which is one of 13 states to already pass a “trigger law” making most abortions illegal if Roe v. Wade got overturned — district attorneys in Austin, Dallas and Houston, among others, are saying they will not prosecute doctors for preforming abortions.

But their stance shouldn’t come as a surprise, as in 2020 more than 70 prosecutors from Democratic districts across the country announced they wouldn’t bring charges under laws where states have banned abortion because they “should not and will not criminalize healthcare decisions.”

During Friday’s edition of “On Balance With Leland Vittert,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who created an annual holiday to celebrate the historic decision, explained what he and his state will do should he run into that problem.

“I have the opportunity to impose some of the civil penalties. The minimum penalty is $100,000 and it can go up to an unlimited amount,” Paxton said.

“So we will be pursuing the civil side of this,” he added. “The legislature is going to have to decide what they’re going to do with district attorneys as it relates to this issue and really almost every other issue, because the local DA is now becoming a law unto themselves in Texas making their decisions.”

Like progressive DAs, companies, too, are now saying they will pay as part of their medical benefits for people to go to another state for an abortion procedure.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example, said they’ll pay $4,000 for someone who’s covered by their insurance to travel along with a spouse or friend or anybody else to help them.

To that, Paxton said he’s unsure and he will have to do more studying but that ultimately it’s something they will also pursue.

“It’s actually a new concept for us — these corporations deciding to pay for people to go get their abortions. So we’re going to be looking at whether the language covers at least the civil side and that’s obviously what we can deal with. And so, these penalties could even be for corporations. Over $100,000 per violation. So we’ll say we’re looking at that literally as we speak,” he said.

In terms of having an exact game plan on how to go forward, Paxton said his office will have to play it by ear.

“Look, I don’t think anyone knows yet, it’s a new opinion. There’s over 200 pages. So certainly over the next coming days and weeks, we’re going to be looking at what we think all of that means and how that affects the state of Texas and how it’ll affect the country in general,” he said.

© 1998 - 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation

Elections 2022

More Elections 2022