AUSTIN, Texas — A lawmaker in Texas has proposed a bill that would abolish abortion in the state and criminalize those who take the life of an unborn child.
H.B. 948, also known as the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act, was submitted by Representative Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, on Wednesday. It declares that unborn children are entitled to human rights from the moment of conception, and removes current exemptions under state criminal homicide law relating to abortion.
“A living human child, from the moment of fertilization upon the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum is entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges as are secured or granted by the laws of this state to any other human child,” it reads in part.
According to a press release from Tinderholdt’s office, abortions committed in cases when the mother’s life is at risk would not be prosecuted as murder.
“When you read and see how abortions are performed, and how they end the life of an innocent child, it amazes me that we allow that,” Tinderholdt told the Star-Telegram. “When we look back over history and we see … the cultures that took the lives of children, people are appalled by that. People are going to do that with America, too, and look back one day and say they can’t believe we allowed this.”
He says that the bill is in response to language in the Texas Republican Party platform, which was passed in May, calling for the complete abolition of abortion in the state.
“We call upon the Texas legislature to enact legislation stopping the murder of unborn children; and to ignore and refuse to enforce any and all federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, and court rulings, which would deprive an unborn child of the right to life,” the text reads.
“Abortion continues because we have allowed the federal courts to overrule the Texas Declaration of Independence, the Texas Constitution, the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution, all of which stand for the fact that the duty of our government is to protect our God-given right to life,” Tinderholdt declared.
But abortion advocacy groups have criticized the bill as being “cruel” and risking women’s health and safety.
“This cruel bill is the most extreme measure we’ve seen at the Texas Legislature,” Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, told reporters. “It takes away a pregnant person’s legal rights and could open up to investigation and prosecution of anyone who has a miscarriage or who seeks an abortion.
“When politicians criminalize safe medical procedures, they put patients’ health and safety at risk,” she said. “HB948 strips away our constitutional right to abortion.”
However, Tinderholdt believes that no one has a right to kill their children.
“It’s a child. It’s a human being,” he said. “God creates these children in his image. How could anyone want to destroy that?”
As previously reported, nearly 60 million children have been abortion in the United States since the 1973 Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade. A CDC report released in November outlined that as per 2013, the latest figures on file, “women in their 20’s accounted for the majority of abortions and had the highest abortion rates.” The vast majority of women obtaining abortions—85.2%—were unmarried.
63,168 abortions were performed in Texas that year alone.