For the first time in history, a bill that would outlaw abortion has been granted a hearing in the state of Texas.
What would the bill do?
The Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act, HB 896, was originally authored by Arlington Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R) and would issue a blanket ban on abortion, regardless of conflicting federal laws or court decisions.
It would also subject any who were involved with abortive procedures, mothers or physicians, to criminal prosecution.
Part of the bill, which seeks to grant inalienable rights to the unborn, reads as follows:
“A living human child, from the moment of fertilization on fusion of a human spermatozoon with a 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.”
“From what I can tell, this is the first legislative hearing since 1973 on this topic,” said committee member Rep. Matt Kraus just before the proceedings got underway.
What has the reaction been?
Despite the tabling of such a bill being seen as a big win for the pro-life community, many are apprehensive about the consequences of allowing criminal prosecutions to take place.
Texans for Life president, Kyleen Wright, noted that her group “opposes criminalizing or penalizing women as it only protects the abortionist.”
Most pro-lifers, however, were thrilled to see so many giving testimony in support of the outlawing of abortion.
“Hundreds of abolitionists are here at the capitol in Austin, Texas for the first hearing of a bill, ever, that would abolish abortion in a state in our nation,” director of Right to Life East Texas, Mark Dickson, told Faithwire Monday night.
“This is an epic hearing. The first that is being heard anywhere in our nation’s history!” he said.
Some 446 people chose to register in favor of the wide-ranging ban, which was brought to hearing by Plano Republican Rep. Jeff Leach.
“There were 446 who registered for this bill, 54 who registered against it, and 2 who were neutral. At hearing’s end, 326 people spoke in favor of HB 896 – the bill to abolish abortion in Texas,” Dickson added.
Over the course of the lengthy hearing, Leach and the representatives on his committee “heard over eight hours worth of testimony on Monday from men and women whose lives had been impacted in some way about abortion,” Dickson explained.
One of those who testified before the committee was 11-year-old Jubilee Thomas, who is the younger sister of the late Jeremiah Thomas — a 16-year-old pro-life advocate whose dying wish was to see abortion be outlawed in his beloved state of Texas.
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SOURCE: FaithWire – Will Maule