Texas Rep. Shelby Slawson, author of ‘Heartbeat Bill,’ reacts to leaked SCOTUS Roe opinion

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A Texas lawmaker who authored the state’s “heartbeat bill” weighed in on the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, saying such an impactful would, in her opinion, rightfully return the debate to the state level.

Rep. Shelby Slawson, R-Stephenville, having read through the leaked draft opinion by Justice Alito, described it as “brilliantly articulated.” 

Slawson authored HB 1515 – better known as the “Texas Heartbeat Act” – which passed last September. The law prohibited abortions after six weeks of pregnancy except in cases of a medical emergency. 

Texas State Rep. Shelby Slawson listens as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks outside the U.S. Supreme Court on November 01, 2021, in Washington, DC. 

Texas State Rep. Shelby Slawson listens as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks outside the U.S. Supreme Court on November 01, 2021, in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Slawson said the issue motivates her because she believes “in the value of life and the sanctity of life.” 

“Having carried babies myself, there is an undeniable, humanity to that tiny unborn baby,” Slawson told Fox News in an interview. “And I will always very firmly stand on the side of recognizing the sanctity of that life.” 

She dismissed the argument that overturning Roe v. Wade would be a slippery slope to reversing other things like gay marriage. 

“That’s what the left always does. That’s the same thing they did when we passed the Heartbeat Act. They turned around and said, ‘we’re going to do the same thing about guns. And we’ll just have civil penalties for anybody that sells a gun out there. Everything is a slippery slope to the left toward destruction.” 

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Justice Alito’s leaked draft opinion, Slawson said, distinguishes between an abortion that “ends human life” and other rights like gay marriage. 

“These things are not the same,” she said. 

Slawson pointed to statewide efforts to boost funding for the Alternatives to Abortion program as well as enhanced postpartum care services to compensate for the lack of abortion access. 

Abortion rights advocates gather outside the Oklahoma Capitol on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Oklahoma City, to protest several anti-abortion bills being considered by the GOP-led Legislature.

Abortion rights advocates gather outside the Oklahoma Capitol on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Oklahoma City, to protest several anti-abortion bills being considered by the GOP-led Legislature. (AP Photo/Sean Murphy)

Though the leaked Supreme Court draft merely represents an opinion and is subject to change ahead of an expected final decision this summer, the news has sparked nationwide rallies, pitting protesters on either side of the abortion debate against each other.

Slawson acknowledged the cultural rift, conceding that it would likely get more intense as the nation gets closer to the midterms. She anticipated that states would continue to enact laws “that they believe is in the best of interest of their people.” 

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“A holding by the court that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey should be overruled doesn’t end the debate, it just moves the debate back to where it should be taking place,” Slawson said. “And that’s within each of our states to determine the best policy decision for people in that state.” 

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