Legislators in Texas heard emotional testimony Monday about a groundbreaking new bill that would criminalize abortion across the Lone Star State. The hearing, held before the House Judiciary Committee, did not wrap up until close to 3 a.m. Tuesday, after over eight hours of testimony.
For the first time in the state’s history, Texas lawmakers are considering legislation that would completely outlaw abortion. The historic bill would also subject physicians and mothers participating in abortive procedures to criminal prosecution.
House Bill 896, known as the “Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act,” was originally authored by Arlington Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R.) The controversial legislation would serve to criminalize abortion and classify it as a homicide, meaning that a mother who has an abortion could potentially receive the death penalty.
“A living human child,” the bill reads, “from the moment of fertilization on 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.”
The pro-life legislation appears to be largely unprecedented in the post Roe v. Wade era. “From what I can tell, this is the first legislative hearing since 1973 on this topic,” said committee member Rep. Matt Kraus just before Monday’s hearing got underway. (Read more from “‘Epic Hearing’ Over Legislation That Would Criminalize Abortion Gets Emotional” HERE)