Texas Health and Safety Code
Sec. § 171.154
Construction of Subchapter


This subchapter shall be construed, as a matter of state law, to be enforceable to the maximum possible extent consistent with but not further than federal constitutional requirements, even if that construction is not readily apparent, as such constructions are authorized only to the extent necessary to save the subchapter from judicial invalidation. Judicial reformation of statutory language is explicitly authorized only to the extent necessary to save the statutory provision from invalidity.


If any court determines that a provision of this subchapter is unconstitutionally vague, the court shall interpret the provision, as a matter of state law, to avoid the vagueness problem and shall enforce the provision to the maximum possible extent. If a federal court finds any provision of this subchapter or its application to any person, group of persons, or circumstances to be unconstitutionally vague and declines to impose the saving construction described by this subsection, the Supreme Court of Texas shall provide an authoritative construction of the objectionable statutory provisions that avoids the constitutional problems while enforcing the statute’s restrictions to the maximum possible extent and shall agree to answer any question certified from a federal appellate court regarding the statute.


A state executive or administrative official may not decline to enforce this subchapter, or adopt a construction of this subchapter in a way that narrows its applicability, based on the official’s own beliefs concerning the requirements of the state or federal constitution, unless the official is enjoined by a state or federal court from enforcing this subchapter.


This subchapter may not be construed to:


authorize the prosecution of or a cause of action to be brought against a woman on whom an abortion is performed or induced in violation of this subchapter; or


create or recognize a right to abortion or a right to a particular method of abortion.
Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 441 (S.B. 8), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2017.
Last accessed
Sep. 28, 2020