Last month, a Republican lawmaker in the Texas House filed legislation to water down the life-saving Heartbeat Act passed by the state Legislature earlier this year.

Now, a group of Republican colleagues are joining him in the effort.

The new state law simply makes it illegal in Texas for an individual to kill a baby in the womb once the child’s heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks.  

The act took effect on September 1 and came after more than 53,000 babies were aborted across the state in 2020 alone. Since going into effect, the act has saved thousands of lives as abortion mills across the state have been forced to limit their operations, and pregnancy care centers have reported a spike in patronage. 

Last month, Republican State Rep. Lyle Larson (San Antonio), who voted for the Heartbeat Act earlier this year, filed House Bill 99 to weaken the bill by adding exceptions for rape and incest.

When filing the bill, Larson called the measure “a common-sense fix that will maintain the pro-life intent of the bill while honoring the traditional philosophy that there should always be a rape and incest exception to an abortion prohibition.”

“We must allow women who undergo such a horrific experience to make the decision whether to seek an abortion without government intervention,” he added.

Larson is joined in his support for adding the exception by Republican State Reps. Charlie Geren (Ft. Worth), Geanie Morrison (Victoria), Stan Lambert (Abilene), and Sam Harless (Spring). 

Gov. Greg Abbott has said the bill will not reach his desk, though he has not indicated whether he would support the exception. Larson and his four Republican co-authors were all endorsed by Abbott ahead of the 2020 election. None of the members were endorsed by Texas Right to Life, though all received support from Texas Alliance for Life.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens