Texas State House Could Vote Soon on Bill to Lower Penalties for Infanticide
by Steven Ertelt
April 29, 2009
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — When the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions, pro-life advocates said it would lead to a slippery slope. In Texas, legislators could slide down that slope when they vote on a bill that would lower the penalty for some mothers who engage in infanticide.
HB 3318 would reduce the crime of infanticide from capital murder to a state jail felony and the measure could receive a vote soon in the Texas House of Representatives.
The bill is now eligible to be scheduled on the House calendar since the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee recently approved it.
Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs at Free Market Foundation, who testified against the bill during the committee hearing, told LifeNews.com that Texans need to contact their lawmakers to oppose HB 3318.
We already have incomplete protection for unborn children, and the assault, under this bill, will now extend to babies once they’re born by giving them less protection, he said.
We strongly oppose this bill and urge the Texas House leadership, both Republican and Democrat, to publicly condemn this outrageous legislation and stop it in its tracks," Saenz added.
Current law states that if a child under the age of six is murdered, the crime is considered capital murder.
HB 3318 would reduce the crime of murder against a child the age of birth-12 months to only a state jail felony with a minimum punishment of 180 days to a maximum of 2 years, if the murder committed by the childs mother is attributed to "impaired (judgment) as a result of the effects of giving birth or the effects of lactation following the birth."
The idea behind the bill is that mothers found to be suffering, in a court’s opinion, from severe post-partum depression shouldn’t be punished as severely for killing their baby.
Texas would be the first state in the United States to have such a law, Saenz tells LifeNews.com.
The measure is sponsored by Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Houston Democrat, who won a Planned Parenthood Public Affairs award last year "for her work on reproductive health issues."
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