Texas bill aimed at criminalizing abortion no longer moving forward

Harsher abortion laws passed in other parts of US

By Sarah Acosta - Reporter, Samuel Bayless Jr. - Editor

SAN ANTONIO - Punishment by death.

It's the type of punishment a proposed Texas House bill would have allowed if a woman has an abortion.

House Bill 896 would have criminalized abortion, allowing prosecutors to charge the women with homicide, but it is no longer moving forward.

The committee hearing the controversial bill earlier this week was in session for eight hours, which at times got heated.

Dozens of people supporting and against it gave their testimony to state Rep. Jeff Leach, the chairman of the House Judiciary and Civil Committee.

“That baby is living and breathing. His or her heart is beating. She feels pain. She recoils,” Leach said during the committee hearing.

“With no exception for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, even the health of the mother, legislators are expressing a blatant disregard for the proper practice of medicine,” one pro-choice supporter who was against the bill told the committee.

Leach said on Twitter that the bill is are no longer moving forward and that it would move the pro-life cause in the wrong direction.

Although this state bill failed, it seems to be part of a larger push for stricter abortion laws.

The Associated Press reported that Mississippi and Kentucky have passed laws that would ban most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is as early as six weeks.

The state of Ohio just passed a similar abortion ban Thursday. Georgia could also ban abortions if its governor signs an anti-abortion bill. Similar bills have also been filed in at least six other states.

Kellie Gretschel, with the San Antonio Coalition for Life, doesn't support abortion, but she said that instead of criminalizing women, there should be more resources available to them.

“Culturally, we need to understand that women who are at the last resort seeking an abortion have some real needs that need to be met,” Gretschel said.

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