Texas lawmakers, leaders on both sides of the aisle react to landmark Supreme Court Roe ruling

Texas AG Ken Paxton said he will defend 'the pro-life laws of Texas,' while Harris County DA Kim Ogg said 'prosecutors and police have no role in matters between doctors and patients'

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Texas is on track to become the nation's largest state to ban most abortions in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision striking down the high court's Roe and Casey decisions. 

The oldest abortion fund in Texas was "forced to pause direct funding of abortion care" in the wake of Friday's Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.

"Today we are grieving, but tomorrow we will continue our fight," Lilith Fund Executive Director Amanda Beatriz Williams said in a statement. "And while we are forced to comply with the law, abortion funds are experts in building power in our communities and we aren’t going to stop showing up for pregnant Texans."

Republicans have majorities in both chambers of the Texas Legislature and have held every statewide office for the past three decades. 

Abortion rights protesters participate in nationwide demonstrations following the leaked Supreme Court opinion suggesting the possibility of overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision, in Houston, Texas, U.S., May 14, 2022. 

Abortion rights protesters participate in nationwide demonstrations following the leaked Supreme Court opinion suggesting the possibility of overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision, in Houston, Texas, U.S., May 14, 2022.  (REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare)

A Texas law banning most abortions after six weeks already took effect in September. It makes no exceptions for rape or incest, but does allow for abortions when a pregnant woman's life is in danger.

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After the Supreme Court's opinion Friday, Texas is one of several states with a "trigger law" on the books that will essentially make all abortions illegal. 

"Today, the question of abortion returns to the states," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday. "And in Texas, that question has already been answered: abortion is illegal here. I look forward to defending the pro-life laws of Texas and the lives of all unborn children moving forward."   

Abortion rights protesters participate in demonstrations in Houston, Texas. 

Abortion rights protesters participate in demonstrations in Houston, Texas.  (REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare)

Texas's abortion ban will go into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court issues an official judgment. The high court issued just an opinion on Friday. 

MORE THAN 2 DOZEN STATES TO RESTRICT ABORTIONS AFTER ROE V. WADE OVERTURNED

State Rep. Shelby Slawson, author of the Texas Heartbeat Act, celebrated the ruling in a statement.

"The restoration of each state's constitutional right to set its own policy is a huge victory for all the people, most especially for our innocent, pre-born Texans who now enjoy the full protection of not only the Texas Heartbeat Act but also the Human Life Protection Act, both of which I authored and supported as they became law," Slawson said, adding, "The dark days that originated in Texas five decades ago with Roe have finally come to an end."

Texas state Sen. Donna Campbell, an emergency room physician whose district includes parts of San Antonio and Austin, said she's "proud to know that Texas will always fight for unborn children."

"After years of prayer and passing legislation to protect innocent, unborn lives, I am extremely proud that the U.S. Supreme Court made the right decision in overturning Roe v. Wade this morning," Campbell said Friday. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and state House Speaker Dade Phelan, all Republicans, also took to social media to celebrate the ruling.

Abortion-rights protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. 

Abortion-rights protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Other Texas officials took a different track. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, the top prosecutor in Houston and the surrounding area, said that the "criminalization of reproductive health will cause great harm to women in America."

"Prosecutors and police have no role in matters between doctors and patients," Ogg said in a statement on Friday. "As in every case, we will evaluate the facts and make decisions on a case-by-case basis."

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Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic challenger facing Gov. Greg Abbott in the gubernatorial election later this year, put out a call for Texans to rally for reproductive health in Austin on Sunday. 

"This is devastating to women across this country, but nowhere more so than the state of Texas," O'Rourke said in a video posted on social media Friday.