Texas House Bill 896 would criminalize all abortions and define the procedure as homicide, which is punishable by death in Texas.
Lawmakers in Texas have proposed legislation that bans abortion in any and all stages of pregnancy, even when caused by acts of rape or incest, and would modify Texas state penal code to allow both women and abortion providers to be charged with murder for abortion.
The bill also defines an embryo as "a living human child" beginning at "the moment of fertilization." The embryo would be afforded the same "rights, powers, and privileges as are secured or granted by the laws of this state to any other human child."
This legislation conflicts with Roe v. Wade, the federal standard under which which it is unconstitutional to ban abortion in any U.S. state.
Here we go again.
Alanna Vagianos at the Huffington Post reports on the Lone Star State's draconian new attack on women.
Texas lawmakers worked well into Tuesday morning as they listened to hundreds of Texans testify in support of a bill that would criminalize abortion and threaten the death penalty to any woman who undergoes the procedure.
In total 446 people testified in support of the "Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act," or House Bill 896, which aims to outlaw all abortions "regardless of any contrary federal law, executive order, or court decision." State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R) introduced the bill in 2017, which would define abortion as murder which is punishable by death in the state of Texas.
"God's word says, 'He who sheds man's blood, by man ― the civil government ― his blood will be shed,'" Sonya Gonnella, a supporter of the bill, testified in the hearing before the Texas House's Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence on Monday.
After quoting the Book of Genesis, Gonella implored the committee to "repent with us" by passing the proposed legislation.
Lawmakers in the hearing, which wrapped around 3 a.m. on Tuesday, also heard from people opposed to the bill. In total 54 Texans, including women's advocates and legal experts, testified against the bill, according to the Washington Post.
Supporters of the bill gathered in Texas Capitol Rotunda ahead of the hearing on Monday night, chanting "abolish abortion" and "equal protection for all."
[ IMAGE: Ann Harkness/Flickr CC/by/2.0]