The ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy came into effect in the state on Wednesday (1 September) after the US Supreme Court voted down an emergency request to block it.
The court, which has a six-three conservative majority including three justices nominated by former president Donald Trump, voted five to four against blocking the country’s most radical abortion law.
The legislation amounts to a near-total ban on abortions and gives any private citizen the ability to sue a provider who breaks it, prompting fears that activists will be able to force most Texas clinics to close.
It bans terminations once fetal cardiac activity is detectable, which occurs at about six weeks’ gestation and before most women know they are pregnant. It allows a medical exemption but has no provision for victims of rape or incest.
Many have protested against the ban online, with Big Little Lies star Witherspoon tweeting: “I stand with the women of Texas who have the Constitutional right to make decisions about their health and their own bodies. #BansOffOurBodies.”
“Truth Hurts” singer Lizzo, meanwhile, shared an Instagram Live, saying: “You have the right to do what you want to do, but the people who are making laws need to stay the f*** out of people’s bodies business.”
US artist Pink added that the ban will “be the blueprint for bans across the US – unless we do something about it”.
British singer Yungblud shared a video on Twitter, saying: “The right to your body is yours and yours alone. It makes me sick and it makes me really disgusted that people sit there and they take away that choice and they take away that right.”
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See the video below, plus more celebrity reactions to the legislation.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, agreed that the new law was reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian world in The Handmaid’s Tale.