The bill sends a clear message that the Texas GOP will continue to invade women’s constitutional right to privacy beyond what is allowed under federal law.
“Right now, it’s real easy,” State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R) told the Texas Observer. “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’s bill, the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act, would ban abortion at every stage of pregnancy and amend the state’s penal code to allow women and providers to be charged with murder for the procedure. The bill has no exceptions for rape or incest, because Tinderhold said he doesn’t think “there should be any exceptions to murder, no matter what.”
Although Texas Republicans recently declared it a priority to abolish abortion in the state, criminalizing the procedure would be blatantly unconstitutional. The Supreme Court decided in 1973 that women have a right to a safe and legal abortion up until the fetus would be viable outside the womb, and last year the high court struck down a pair of abortion restrictions in Texas that made it more difficult for women to access the procedure.
It’s unclear whether Texas’ state legislature will take up Tinderholt’s bill, which he introduced last week. But he told the Observer that he and his family have already been receiving death threats since he filed it.