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ABC-7 Xtra

ABC-7 Xtra: El Paso leaders weigh in on ‘heartbeat bill,’ new Texas laws

EL PASO, Texas -- ABC-7 took an in-depth look at several new Texas laws, including the "heartbeat" bill that went into effect on Sept. 1.

The new abortion restrictions have thrust the state into the national spotlight. The U.S. Supreme Court refused last week to block the new law.

El Paso state representative, Claudia Ordaz-Perez said it's a topic that's very emotional for those on both sides of the aisle. She was joined by Mark Dunham, head of the state republican executive committee for district 29 to debate the bill on ABC-7 Xtra.

Senate Bill 8 prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That usually comes around the six-week mark, which opponents say is when many women may not know they're pregnant. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Under the law, anyone can sue anyone who performs, aids or intends to aid in an abortion something Ordaz-Perez does not agree with adding that this bill has and will always be partisan.

"It's going to be a nightmare for the state of Texas," Ordaz-Perez said. "It's just that precedent that we're setting. What if Californians wanted to start deputizing their citizens to take actions against hate crimes or New York against gun owners. This is going to be an nightmare in the courts."

Dunham said that he would never tell a woman what to do with her body, but for him, it all comes down to protecting the life of an unborn child.

"I look at it from the prospective from the unborn fetus," Dunham said. "Once a heartbeat is detected that's a life.
Dunham later went on to bring up Ordaz-Perez's work on animal rights and working to help El Paso become a no-kill shelter city. "I think with that perspective, I certainly think our citizens during the same."

The two guests also debated the permit-less carry, or constitutional carry law as well as a new law that allows people to buy liquor on Sundays.

You can watch ABC-7 Xtra in its entirety in the video player above.

To read more about SB-8, click here.

El Paso / News / Texas / Video

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.

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