As part of an unprecedented wave of recent GOP attacks on reproductive rights across the United States, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign a bill to not only outlaw ending a pregnancy as early as six weeks, but also allow anti-choice \u0022vigilantes\u0022 to sue anyone who \u0022aids or abets\u0022 an abortion that violates state law.\r\n\r\nTexas\u0026#039; Republican-controlled state Legislature on Thursday gave final approval to Senate Bill 8, which Abbott celebrated on Twitter. It is yet another so-called \u0022fetal heartbeat\u0022 measure, which medical experts say is a scientifically misleading phrase. If signed into law, it would ban abortions before many people know they are pregnant.\r\n\r\n\u0022Republicans in the Texas Legislature have pushed extreme bills to ban abortion and incentivize people to sue healthcare providers and anyone else who assists a pregnant person seeking abortion care.\u0022\r\n—Ilyse Hogue, NARAL\r\n\r\nNancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), noted in a statement that \u0022this bill essentially opens the floodgates to allow anyone who is hostile to abortion to sue doctors and clinics, consuming their resources and forcing them to shut down.\u0022\r\n\r\nSpecifically, the bill would enable \u0022any person, other than an officer or employee of a state or local governmental entity,\u0022 to file a civil lawsuit against anyone who performs an abortion that is illegal in Texas or \u0022knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise... regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion\u0022 violates state law.\r\n\r\nCurrently, abortions are illegal in Texas after 20 weeks, with exceptions when a patient\u0026#039;s life is in danger or severe fetal abnormalities have been detected. Though the pending law wouldn\u0026#039;t punish patients who get abortions, anyone successfully sued under it could be forced to pay a minimum of $10,000 in \u0022statutory damages.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022It\u0026#039;s unprecedented, there\u0026#039;s no question,\u0022 Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman\u0026#039;s Health, which operates four clinics in the state, told The Daily Beast. \u0022The idea that just anybody should be able to police a highly trained physician and their staff—that any Joe on the street can make that claim—is just totally shocking.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThose who could be sued in Texas when the bill takes effect in September 2021 include:\r\n\r\nA person who drives their friend to a clinic\r\nAbortion funds providing financial assistance to patients\r\nAny clinic employees\r\n— Center for Reproductive Rights (@ReproRights) May 13, 2021\r\n\r\n\r\nReproductive rights advocates in Texas and nationwide also pointed out that the state bill is just the latest extreme measure proposed or enacted this year with the aim of giving the right-wing majority U.S. Supreme Court the opportunity to reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion.\r\n\r\n\u0022With their lack of power at the federal level, anti-choice lawmakers across the country are ramping up their attacks on reproductive freedom at the state level and cruelty appears to be the point,\u0022 declared NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue.\r\n\r\n\u0022Instead of focusing on delivering Texans much-needed relief following the Covid-19 pandemic and unprecedented power outages,\u0022 Hogue continued, \u0022Republicans in the Texas Legislature have pushed extreme bills to ban abortion and incentivize people to sue healthcare providers and anyone else who assists a pregnant person seeking abortion care.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022There\u0026#039;s no low these legislators won\u0026#039;t sink to in their efforts to gut Roe v. Wade and push abortion care as far out of reach as possible—regardless of the damage inflicted on the lives, health, and well-being of Texas women and families,\u0022 she added.\r\n\r\nCRR, in its statement, highlighted various other abortion restrictions that Texas legislators are considering:\r\n\r\n\r\n\tCreate a database of people who have had abortions;\r\n\tLimit medication abortion to 49 days of pregnancy (before some people know they\u0026#039;re pregnant);\r\n\tCreate a \u0022trigger ban\u0022 intended to ban abortion entirely if\u0026nbsp;Roe v. Wade is overturned;\r\n\tProhibit abortion based on a patient\u0026#039;s reason for seeking it, such as a Down syndrome diagnosis; and\r\n\tRequire Texans to carry non-viable pregnancies to term.\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022Every year, Texas lawmakers pass laws that make it harder for our patients to access abortion care, and harder for us to provide it,\u0022 Hagstrom Miller said in a statement. \u0022They are determined to legislate abortion out of existence.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We see firsthand that Black and brown communities are hit the hardest by these oppressive laws and we know these laws do not reflect the values Texans hold,\u0022 she added. \u0022Our clinics are open, and we are committed to providing compassionate, professional abortion care in Texas.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nKnow this: Abortion is still legal in ALL 50 STATES. And we intend to keep it that way. https://t.co/mwGqNoYWAS\r\n— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) May 13, 2021\r\n\r\n\r\nAnticipating Abbott\u0026#039;s signature, Northup of CRR vowed that \u0022we will pursue all legal options to prevent this law from taking effect.\u0022\r\n\r\nWith 2021 on track to be \u0022the most damaging anti-abortion state legislative session in a decade—and perhaps ever,\u0022 according to an April analysis from the Guttmacher Institute, progressive activists and lawmakers have ramped up calls to #ReimagineRoe, treating it as a floor rather than a ceiling for reproductive rights and healthcare.