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Texas Bill Would Impose Death Penalty for Women Who Get Abortions – Should More States Introduce Similar Laws?

Do you support homicide charges for women who get abortions?

by Countable | 4.11.19

What’s the story?

  • A Texas House bill would have allowed women to get the death penalty for having abortions.
  • The Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act, which failed to make it past a committee hearing, would have criminalized all abortions – with no exemptions for rape or incest – and made it possible to convict a woman with homicide for undergoing the procedure—which can carry the death penalty in Texas.

What are people saying?

Supporters of the bill

  • Rep. Tony Tinderholt, a Republican from Arlington, Texas, who introduced the law, said his “bill simply accomplishes one goal: It brings equal treatment for unborn human beings under the law.”
  • Tinderholt also said his legislation would make people “consider the repercussions” of having sex.
“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.’ 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.”
  • Sonya Gonnella was among hundreds of people who testified during a marathon hearing on the legislation that stretched from Monday into early Tuesday.
“God’s word says, ‘He who sheds man’s blood, by man — the civil government — his blood will be shed,’” said Gonnella, quoting the Book of Genesis and asking lawmakers to “repent with us.”
  • “A woman who has committed murder should be charged with murder,” Jim Baxa, president of West Texans for Life, said at the hearing.

Critics of the bill

  • “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,” state Rep. Victoria Neave, a Democrat representing parts of Dallas County, told the Washington Post.
  • Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion organization, agreed the legislation went too far. In a statement to Vox, Dannenfelser said:
“We oppose this legislation which would only further injure women, families, and communities damaged by abortion. Women and men who have experienced abortion, especially those who may have felt they have no other choice, deserve a message of hope and healing.”

What do you think?

Do you support bills allowing women to be charged with homicide for having abortions? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: Make Unborn Babies Great Again via Twitter) 

Countable

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