A Republican lawmaker in Texas has introduced a bill, and if it passes, it will allow the death penalty for women who have abortions.
Under HB 3326, physicians who perform the procedure could also face the death penalty.
“It is time for Texas to protect the natural right to life for the tiniest and most innocent Texans, and this bill does just that,” East Texas Representative Bryan Slaton said. “It’s time Republicans make it clear that we actually think abortion is murder. … Unborn children are dying at a faster rate in Texas than COVID patients, but Texas isn’t taking the abortion crisis seriously.”
Under the bill, ectopic pregnancies would be exempt. Victims of rape or incest would not be protected under the law and would be charged criminally for undergoing the procedure.
“Today, I filed HB 3326 to Abolish Abortion in Texas,” Slaton tweeted. “The bill will end the discriminatory practice of terminating the life of innocent children, and will guarantee the equal protection of the laws to all Texans, no matter how small,” he said.
HB 3326 would also prevent nonprofit organizations that offer reproductive services, contraceptive services, therapy or referrals, from receiving grants.
Slanton faced inevitable backlash on social media, but the fact that politicians are still hellbent on policing women’s bodies is incredulous. What’s even more staggering is that a rape victim could be further victimized by a system supposedly designed to protect them.
“When women are in control of their sexuality, it threatens a core element underpinning right-wing ideology: patriarchy. It’s a brutal form of oppression to seize control of the 1 essential thing a person should command: their own body,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted last May.
In the past, similar bills have been filed in the Texas legislatures but have failed. If just approved by the majority, the bill would become law on Sept. 1 of this year.
Also this week, the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act was introduced. The legislation aims to repeal the Helms Amendment and recognize abortion as essential health care by halting the U.S. policy that blocks the use of foreign assistance to expand access to abortion.
The bill was proposed by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Barbara Lee, Jackie Speier, Ayanna Pressley, Diana DeGette, Norma Torres and Marilyn Strickland.
“Abortion is essential health care, period. The Helms Amendment cruelly stands between people around the globe and the respect and services they need. It has always been a coercive policy, pushing the extreme ideology of a vocal minority in the U.S. on people in many of the lowest-income countries in the world — people in need of health care,” a statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
“The policy is a stark example of neocolonialism, taking advantage of the uneven relationship between the U.S. and the countries that receive aid. We thank Rep. Schakowsky and her fellow congressional health care champions for introducing this critical legislation to clearly declare: Now is the time to end the Helms Amendment.”