Still firmly in the hands of Republicans, the Texas Legislature has approved a statewide ban on abortions after the detection of a "fetal heartbeat."
Governor Greg Abbott has pledged to sign the measure, which will effectively out-law the procedure beyond the sixth week of pregnancy.
"This bill says that little baby growing in her mother's womb, that should be the safest place and that little baby is worthy of protection. She's helpless, she's vulnerable and she's innocent and this bill says we will protect that life when that heartbeat is detected," said State Senator Bryan Hughes, a Mineola Republican.
Once implemented, Senate Bill 8 will render the Lone Star State among the most restrictive in the nation, allowing just about anyone to sue anybody they suspect of enabling an abortion beyond the strict legal parameters by lawmakers. Democratic State Senator Eddie Lucio crossed the partisan divide to support the tough, new standard.
"Make sure that those soon to be born babies have an opportunity to be born and to live in our world and hopefully make it even better then we have ourselves," said Lucio of Brownsville.
But Houston State Representative Ann Johnson spoke for many in the minority at the Capital who believe the proposed law and the restrictions it puts in place is based on a "false narrative."
"Scientists will tell you that is not a heartbeat. That is an electrical induced flickering of embryonic tissue and it is not cardiac activity. It's not just an attack on women, but it's an attack by unleashing a litigation mob on the medical community, I don't know how we got to this point, but I am deeply disturbed that we are here," said Johnson.
The strict new abortion law will include an exception when the life of the mother is in peril, but no such option for pregnancies involving rape or incest.
Like similar standards adopted in other states, the measure is certain to draw heavy court challenges.