Women Could Get Death Penalty for Having an Abortion If Texas Bill Passes
By Ella Torres
Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it possible for women who receive an abortion to be charged with homicide -- a crime that carries the death penalty in the state.
The bill, which was considered in public hearing Tuesday and left pending in the committee, was created to protect "the right of an unborn child."
"A living human child, from the moment of fertilization on fusion of a human spermatozoon with the human ovum, is entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges as are secured or granted by the laws of this state to any other human child," the proposed legislation reads.
If passed, the Attorney General would direct a state agency to enforce criminal homicide charges or assault offenses.
Of the 12 Republican representatives sponsoring the bill, one is a woman. It was first introduced to the House on Jan. 17, 2017 by Rep. Tony Tinderholt, who was then placed under protection after receiving death threats.
"Right now, it's real easy. Right now, they don't make it important to be personally responsible because they know that they have a backup of 'oh, I can just go get an abortion,'" Tinderholt told The Observer back in 2017. "Now, we both know that consenting adults don't always think smartly sometimes. But consenting adults need to also consider the repercussions of the sexual relationship that they're gonna have, which is a child."
State Rep. Victoria Neave questioned how the supporters of the bill, who consider themselves pro-life, could rally behind the notion of the death penalty.
"I'm trying to reconcile in my head the arguments that I heard tonight about how essentially one is okay with subjecting a woman to the death penalty for the exact -- to do to her the exact same thing that one is alleging she is doing to a child," Neave, a Democrat from Dallas, said.
The bill will await its fate before the full Texas House for debate.
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