Texas Lawmakers Want Death Penalty for Abortions
A new law going before the Texas House is looking to classify abortions as homicides and punishable by death.
Texas lawmakers stayed in session until 3am Tuesday morning hearing testimony from over 300 people regarding House Bill 896, which would provide a complete ban and criminalize abortions as capitol murder, allowing courts to sentence women who have abortions to death. The bill also looks to circumvent any superseding federal legislation by including that states can enforce the abortion ban and charge people with murder "regardless of any contrary federal law, executive order, or court decision."
As reported by Fox 4, State Representative Tony Tinderholt, who introduced the bill, commented,
I think it’s important to remember that if a drunk driver kills a pregnant woman, they get charged twice. If you murder a pregnant woman, you get charged twice. So I’m not specifically criminalizing women. What I’m doing is equalizing the law.
One of the witnesses who spoke at the hearing, NARAL Pro-Choice legislative intern Jasmine Wang, called out those who wrote and introduced the bill, saying they know it to be unconstitutional,
The bill authors know that this legislation is unconstitutional because of federal judicial precedent set by Roe v Wade. So even giving this bill a hearing is both a waste of time and resources.
Delma Catalina Limones, the communications manager for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas told CNN,
Chairman Jeff Leach entertaining this bill and giving it a hearing proves that the anti-abortion's relentless and coordinated attempt to shame and criminalize women who have abortions as well as the doctors who perform that care is dangerous and out of touch with the majority of Texas who believe abortion should be safe and legal.
Jeff Leach had been on record that he would allow a bill to leave the committee that tried to target women with criminal or civil liability in abortions, but relented that he would grant a hearing for a bill at the request of a member of the Texas House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee.
The bill, which was first introduced in 2017, is expected to be passed on to the Texas House for full consideration.