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What will happen to Roe vs. Wade now that the Texas 'Heartbeat bill' is law?

Are the days numbered for Roe vs. Wade? This week, the US Supreme Court allowed a new Texas abortion law to take effect, setting the stage for a big legal fight.

Texas abortion law

On Wednesday, Texas' "heartbeat bill" became law, after the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers and others who sought to block enforcement of the law.

Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) told Inside Texas Politics there is no question Roe vs. Wade is in jeopardy now after the Supreme Court ruling. He said he expects a full-on legal battle from here on out. 

"This is, as President Biden said, a bizarre law," Castro said. "I believe it is fundamentally unconstitutional, that it is an overreach, that the very conservative Republican Texas Legislature is trying to take away women's healthcare rights."

Further, the Texas law now sets up the legal fight that Republicans have been pushing for for decades, with the goal that the Supreme Court strikes down Roe vs. Wade.

Experts say the way the  law is written - with private citizens as the enforcers of the law and not the government - could make it harder to bring legal challenges against it.

Second special session

The Legislature adjourned from the second special session Thursday night.

Republicans were able to get many of the lingering bills passed that didn't during the first special session, when Texas Democrats fled the state to Washington, D.C. Among those bills - the GOP-backed election reform bill.

RELATED: Permitless carry, Sunday beer and wine sales time change among Texas laws going into effect Sept. 1

Speaker of the House Dade Phelan joined Inside Texas Politics to discuss what didn't pass the second special session and his expectations for the third special session that will focus on redistricting.

Texas redistricting

The third special session will focus on redistricting. Texas will gain two seats. 

Phelan's own district lost population, and he said he doesn’t know yet if they’ll be Republican or Democrat. But he absolutely thinks they’ll go to the larger, populated areas

"Some districts have surged in population, and some have rapidly declined in population," Phelan said. "So, you have to go out and look at new cities and counties to add to your district and there are rules to that."

Biden budget

Democrats in Congress are moving ahead with President Biden's $3.5 trillion budget package, and in a few weeks, the infrastructure bill goes before the House, where Republicans are outnumbered. 

Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Houston) said he isn’t buying the promise that it will only increase taxes on major corporations and the wealthy, but not on small businesses and individuals earning less than $400,000.  

Brady said two different groups have said more than 2/3 of middle class would see a tax increase next year. And, Brady said he opposes the infrastructure measure, saying it spends too much on items that aren’t true infrastructure.

Watch the full episode of Inside Texas Politics below


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