AUSTIN (KXAN) — A roster of new laws went into effect this week in Texas — and controversy followed.
Here’s a look at the bills that have Texans and the U.S. talking.
‘Critical race theory’ ban
Although there’s little to no evidence that the academic framework — critical race theory is not a standard, teachable class program — is officially being taught in Texas public schools, House Bill 3979 bans schools from discussing current events or social issues with students.
According to the Washington Post, CRT dates back to 1970s law practices and aimed to address injustice in how the legal system has historically treated people of color.
Proponents of CRT teaching say it merely aims to outline how the American legal system and society at-large have been marginalized by inherent white supremacy within.
The authors in a Harvard analysis explain CRT identifies white privilege in an attempt to dismantle it. “Race,” they argue, doesn’t even exist, but is created by those at the top of the hierarchy to keep those deemed to be “lower” beneath them.
The bill will also require teachers to present “diverse and contending perspectives” when/if they do choose to broach hot social topics.
Texans 21 years old and older can now carry firearms in public without licenses. House Bill 1927 will not apply to felons and there will still be exceptions for certain public places, like schools and airports.
All Texans with cancer are now eligible for medical marijuana treatment thanks to House Bill 1535. Eligibility is also open to people with diagnosed PTSD.
Limits for THC in medically grown cannabis was also upped from 0.5% to 1% weight.
Senate Bill 8 is among the most divisive pieces of legislation. The so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill bans abortion procedures after six weeks of pregnancy, which is before most women even know they’re pregnant.
Going even further, the law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and individuals who help someone have an abortion procedure. Those who are sued could face up to $10,000 in fines.