AUSTIN — Using chemicals to kill a child in the womb will now be outlawed across the state—unless the child is a certain age.

On Monday, the Texas House approved Senate Bill 4, a proposed law to ban “pill-induced” abortions of children more than 49 days old. Common abortion pills disintegrate the child’s connection to his or her mother, then induce heavy bleeding and cramping to expel the dead baby’s body from the womb.

The law does not protect babies less than the gestational age of 49 days.

“A person may not knowingly provide an abortion-inducing drug to a pregnant woman for the purpose of inducing an abortion in the pregnant woman or enabling another person to induce an abortion in the pregnant woman unless [emphasis added]: the person who provides the abortion-inducing drug is a physician; and the provision of the abortion-inducing drug satisfies the protocol authorized by this subchapter.”

That protocol, according to the law, allows a physician to chemically kill the child if he or she has not reached 7 weeks gestation.

The law also addresses remote delivery of abortion drugs. Though it is already illegal in Texas to mail abortion-inducing drugs within the state, SB 4 seeks to stop out-of-state manufacturers from mailing drugs to Texans for the purpose of putting their babies to death.

“A manufacturer, supplier, physician, or any other person may not provide to a patient any abortion-inducing drug by courier, delivery, or mail service,” the bill reads.

After receiving a vote of 83-42 on Monday, the proposal requires one more vote of approval in the Texas House before being sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law, and will take effect in just over three months.

The law also comes after the Republican-controlled state Legislature passed a pro-life “heartbeat” law earlier this year, yet they rejected several laws that would have protected more children in the womb, including an outright ban of abortion.

As the Legislature currently has less than a week remaining in their August special session, concerned citizens may contact their elected officials.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.