Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June of this year, Texas enacted a “trigger law” to outlaw abortion throughout the state. Since the signing of the trigger law, Democrats in the Texas state Legislature have once again been fighting to legalize abortion for all.
Early in the bill pre-filing session, Democrats in the state House and Senate began filing measures to give pregnant women the ability to kill their unborn babies.
Last month, Democrat Texas State Sen. Nathan Johnson (Dallas) filed Senate Bill 78. This measure would allow physicians to provide abortion drugs to any “pregnant individual” up to 70 days gestation, an increase from the 49 days it is set to now.
Regarding the potential increase of abortion drugs, Chelsey Youman, the Texas state director at Human Coalition Action, told Texas Scorecard, “Human Coalition Action will not rest as it continues to fight to rescue children in the womb – especially from the deadly abortion pill – and support vulnerable mothers.”
Johnson then filed Senate Bill 79, removing all written forms of the word “woman” from the bill and replacing them with “pregnant individual.” This bill would also remove and prevent laws that enact penalties and liability on “pregnant individuals.”
State Rep. Donna Howard (D–Austin) filed House Bill 979. Its companion bill, Senate Bill 122, was then filed by state Sen. Carol Alvarado (Houston), as well as state Sens. Cesar Blanco (El Paso), Sarah Eckhardt (Austin), Roland Gutierrez (San Antonio), Jose Menendez (San Antonio), Borris Miles (Houston), Royce West (DeSoto), and John Whitmire (Houston).
This measure would allow for an exception to the current abortion restrictions if the pregnant patient is a victim of sexual assault; however, the patient does not need to have any form of proof that she is a victim of sexual assault in order to get an abortion.
The same group of senators then filed Senate Bill 123, which would allow more exceptions to abortions, including exceptions to “preserve the pregnant patient’s life or the patient’s physical or mental health” or “because of a lethal fetal anomaly or diagnosis or because of a life-limiting diagnosis that indicates the existence of the fetus outside the womb is incompatible with life without extraordinary medical intervention.”
The legislation also changes language from the term “unborn child” to “embryo or fetus.”
Then Senate Bill 227 was filed by State Sen. Sarah Eckhardt, along with Alvarado, Gutierrez, Johnson, and Menendez. This measure would remove laws that prevent or prohibit abortions.
Senate Joint Resolution 21 was filed by Eckhardt, with Gutierrez, Johnson, and Menendez co-authoring. State Rep. Vikki Goodwin (D–Austin) then filed the companion resolution, House Joint Resolution 62.
The identical measures assert that individuals ought to have the right to kill a child in the womb under the guise of personal reproductive anatomy rights. They also say that the state has no right to intervene in an individual’s personal reproductive decisions, even when that decision involves killing an unborn baby.
The resolution would amend the Texas Constitution, preventing the state’s Legislature from passing laws that would prevent women from being able to access abortions and abortion “care.”
“We are already seeing extremely radical pro-abortion legislation filed by various legislators to repeal or add exceptions to our life-saving laws, and to expand access to dangerous abortion-inducing drugs in our state,” Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate at Texas Right to Life, told Texas Scorecard.
Texas Right to Life opposes these attempts and will be working to protect our strong Pro-Life laws from any weakening measures.
While the Democrat Party of Texas is seeking to expand abortion in Texas, the Republican Party of Texas is continuing their fight to completely abolish abortion in the state. Republican voters throughout the GOP-dominated state have expressed their concerns over abortion, and Republican lawmakers continue to file legislation to protect the unborn while Democrats fight for abortion.
The 88th Legislative Session will begin on January 10, 2023.
Concerned citizens may contact their elected representatives to ask how they will vote on such legislation.