A Texas state representative reintroduced a bill that would make abortion a homicide, sparking intense debate in the Texas state Legislature this week, according to The Washington Post.
Whose bill is it? The bill was authored by state Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R). He first introduced the bill during the 2017 legislative session. The Texas Legislature only convenes every two years. In 2017, Tinderholt received so many threats over the bill that he was placed under state protection.
What's in the bill? The bill seeks to amend Texas law to include abortion in the definition of criminal homicide. The way the penal code is currently written, abortion is explicitly excluded from the definition of homicide.
The bill, seemingly acknowledging the legal challenges it would face even if passed due to its conflict with Roe v. Wade, calls for its enforcement "regardless of any contrary federal law, executive order, or court decision."
Why did he submit this bill? Here's what Tinderholt said in 2017 when he first introduced the bill, according to the Texas Observer:
"Right now, it's real easy. Right now, they don't make it important to be personally responsible because they know that they have a backup of 'oh, I can just go get an abortion.' Now, we both know that consenting adults don't always think smartly sometimes. But consenting adults need to also consider the repercussions of the sexual relationship that they're gonna have, which is a child."
Tinderholt also said his goal is simply to "equalize" the law, pointing out that people who kill pregnant women are charged twice.
What are opponents saying? "I'm trying to reconcile in my head the arguments that I heard tonight about how essentially one is okay with subjecting a woman to the death penalty for the exact — to do to her the exact same thing that one is alleging she is doing to a child," said state Rep. Victoria Neave (D).
What's next? The bill is a longshot to pass, but that it has gotten a hearing in committee is already further than it got in 2017. The bill is still pending in the Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence.
(H/T The Hill)