Thursday, April 11, 2019

A Texas Bill Would Allow The Death Penalty For Patients Who Get Abortions

A bill recently introduced in Texas would make it possible for women to get the death penalty for having abortions.

The bill would criminalize all abortions, with no exceptions for rape or incest, and would make it possible to charge a woman with homicide for having the procedure, according to the Washington Post. The state of Texas allows capital punishment for homicide.

Rep. Tony Tinderholt, a Republican state legislator who introduced the bill, says it would make people “consider the repercussions” of having sex.

“My bill simply accomplishes one goal,” Tinderholt said in a statement to media on Wednesday. “It brings equal treatment for unborn human beings under the law.”

The bill, which was discussed at a hearing on Monday, is unlikely to pass. And it falls far outside the mainstream of the anti-abortion movement, which has generally opposed punishing women for having abortions. “I am absolutely appalled by any proposal that would suggest prosecuting a woman for seeking an abortion or obtaining an abortion,” Catherine Glenn Foster, president of the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life, told Vox.

But the bill may be part of a larger drive by abortion opponents to introduce laws that could lead to a challenge to Roe v. Wade. And reproductive rights activists fear that Tinderholt’s proposal is a preview of what could happen if the landmark abortion decision is overturned.

“Clearly it is a terrifying example of the lengths the anti-choice GOP are willing to go to punish women,” Adrienne Kimmell, the vice president of communications and strategic research at NARAL Pro-Choice America, told Vox.