You’d think that as skittish as folks are about the number 666 they might have added an extra law…or subtracted one. Here’s a sampling of some of the biggest/weirdest/most controversial laws that go into effect September 1st in the Lone Star State

1.) Abortion is Almost Entirely Illegal

SB 8 prohibits abortions as early as 6 weeks into a pregnancy. There are no exceptions for rape or incest though there are for some medical concerns such as when the live of the mother could be at risk. It’s essentially the “heartbeat rule” meaning if a fetal heartbeat is detected abortion isn’t allowed. Medical experts point out that a fetus doesn’t even have a heart at such an early stage.

This prohibition will NOT be enforced by the government. It’s left to private individuals to bring a civil suit (up to $10,000) against abortion providers. The definition of “provider” is open-ended so it could mean the doctor that performs the procedure but it could also mean any of the people who assist or even the person who provided the ride to the pregnant woman.

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2.) Everybody Can Carry a Gun

HB 1927, the so-called “Constitutional Carry” bill says that anyone 21 years or older can carry a firearm WITHOUT a license or any amount of training. The only exception would be if the person is legally prevented from having a gun, such as having certain felony convictions.

3.) The National Anthem MUST be Played Before Sporting Events

Nothing says “land of the free” quite like being forced to play 200 year old propaganda before throwing a ball around. SB 4, the “Star Spangled Banner Protection Act” REQUIRES pro sports teams who get state funding to play the song before games.

4.) Teaching About Slavery and Racism=Bad; Teaching that Texas is Awesome=Good

These are actually two bills that set what historical facts should be ignored and which should be amplified.

HB 3979 limits teachers from discussing systemic racism in class. It also bans any teaching of the “1619 Project”.

HB 2497 provides funding for the “1836 Project” which promotes “patriotic” Texas history.

5.) No Sleeping While Homeless

Texas HB 1925 makes “camping in unapproved public spaces” a crime. Homeless people who can’t afford $80 for a motel will be fined $500 which, mathematicians might note, is actually MORE than the $80 they already didn’t have for a room.

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