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State, East Texas officials react to Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v. Wade

East Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes said in his statement that the high court correct a "decision that has wrongly ruled for almost 50 years."

TYLER, Texas — In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, multiple state and local officials, including the author of Texas' Heartbeat Act, have issued responses Friday. 

East Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes, who authored the law that prohibits abortion after six weeks into a pregnancy, said in his statement that the high court correct a "decision that has wrongly ruled for almost 50 years."

"I commend the Court for refusing to be bullied and for deciding the outcome based on the rightful application of the law rather than on fealty to a lawless ruling," Hughes said. 

Hughes added that Texas stands with the 12 other states with trigger laws already in place that would ban abortion. In Texas, this law would go into effect 30 days after the overturn. 

In his statement, Hughes noted that Texas has allocated $100 million solely to help expectant mothers and adoptive parents. 

"Texas will continue to lead the way in this post-Roe world," Hughes said. "The program provides everything from parenting classes to car seats and proves that we can save the life of the unborn child while we love, respect, and support the mother. We will not forget the 62 million Americans who were denied life before their first breath."

State Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, said in his statement on the ruling that in Texas a doctor performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy will face serious criminal charges and civil liability, with the only exceptions being risk to the mother.

He noted that the mother will not face criminal charges. 

"Texas laws on abortion that existed prior to Roe v. Wade that had been set aside are now relevant again. To God be the glory for laws protecting innocent life in the State of Texas," Schaefer said.

Gov. Greg Abbott agreed with Hughes' sentiment, saying that overturn was correct and supported the decision for states to regulate abortion legislation. 

"Texas is a pro-life state, and we have taken significant action to protect the sanctity of life," Abbott said. "Texas has also prioritized supporting women's health care and expectant mothers in need to give them the necessary resources so that they can choose life for their child."

Abbott said in his statement that he has signed laws extending Medicaid health care coverage to six months post-partum, giving $345 million for women's health programs, and investing more than $100 million toward the state's Alternatives to Abortion program. 

Abbott's Democratic opponent in Texas' gubernatorial race, Beto O'Rourke, said in his reaction that the overturn is a dangerous roll back of reproductive rights, noting the trigger law. 

“The only way to overcome today’s decision is to win this race for governor," O'Rourke said. "The Supreme Court has sent this back to the states, and our state’s current governor has outlawed abortion beginning at conception with no exception for rape or incest." 

 Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the statewide closure of his agency's office to honor unborn babies. He said that June 24 will be an annual holiday for the Office of the Attorney General.

Roe v. Wade and its successor case Planned Parenthood v. Casey have absolutely no basis in the U.S. Constitution,” Paxton said. “Nevertheless, for half a century, Americans have had to live under these illegitimate, illegal, and unconstitutional dictates of a partisan, willful Supreme Court. No more. Today, the question of abortion returns to the states. And in Texas, that question has already been answered: abortion is illegal here. I look forward to defending the pro-life laws of Texas and the lives of all unborn children moving forward.” 

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