Hundreds of people gathered in the Texas Capitol on Monday to call for a complete ban on abortions.
Sponsored by state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, the bill would make the killing of an unborn child in an abortion criminal homicide in all circumstances, according to the Daily Texan. Violators could face prison time or even the death penalty.
“A living human child, 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 bill states.
The House Judiciary and Criminal Jurisprudence committee heard testimony on the bill Monday; more than 400 people signed up to testify, according to the report.
Delaney Head, an adoptive parent and member of Abolish Abortion Texas, told lawmakers that her children are no less valuable because they once were foster children.
“We’re here today to bring a bill to the committee about abolishing abortion in Texas and criminalizing abortion because abortion is murder, whether you are an unborn child or whether you are born,” she said. “Every human being has a right to life. We want equal justice for the murder of unborn children as for those who are born.”
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Others who spoke included Rusty and Jubilee Thomas, the father and sister of the late Jeremiah Thomas, the 16-year-old whose dying wish was to protect all unborn babies from abortion.
While the pro-life movement’s goal is to protect every unborn baby from abortion, some pro-life leaders in the state expressed concerns with this particular bill.
Kyleen Wright, of Texans for Life, said her group “opposes criminalizing or penalizing women as it only protects the abortionist,” a position that historically has been taken by most pro-life groups, the report states. The Texas Alliance for Life expressed similar concerns about punishing women, the Dallas News reports.
Others fear the bill could be struck down in court, and Texas taxpayers could be forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees. Some have hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain – especially after Chief Justice John Roberts recently sided with the liberal justices on an abortion case.