A Republican lawmaker in the Texas House wants to water down the life-saving Heartbeat Act passed by the state Legislature earlier this year.

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, usually around six weeks gestation.

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. 

But Republican State Rep. Lyle Larson (San Antonio), who voted for the Heartbeat Act earlier this year, has now filed legislation to weaken the bill by adding exceptions for rape and incest.

In a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, Larson called the bill “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.

While Larson has always had a liberal record during his tenure in the House, he has taken strides this session to distance himself from the majority of his Republican colleagues. He was the only Republican House member to vote against election integrity legislation, as well as the only Republican to vote against arresting Democrat quorum-breakers who fled the state this summer to freeze progress on conservative priorities.

Notably, Larson has also flirted with the idea of leaving the Republican Party for a new moderate third-party effort called the Save America Movement (SAM) Party.