A Republican state lawmaker in Texas has reintroduced a controversial bill that would make it possible for women to be convicted of homicide and sentenced to death for having an abortion.
The bill, first introduced by Texas state Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R) in 2017, finally earned its first public hearing this week and he argued that his intention is to guarantee “equal protection” for life inside and “outside the womb.”
Tinderholt has previously said that his bill would completely eliminate access to abortions and “force” women to be “more personally responsible” with sex.
“Right now, it’s real easy,” Tinderholt told the Texas Observer in 2017. “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.”
The Washington Post called Tinderholt’s bill a clear violation of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
The bill seeks to criminalize abortion and classify it as a homicide, which would make it possible for a woman to receive the death penalty for having the procedure done.
The bill’s language directs authorities to enforce its requirements “regardless of any contrary federal law, executive order, or court decision.”
“I think it’s important to remember that if a drunk driver kills a pregnant woman, they get charged twice. If you murder a pregnant woman, you get charged twice. So I’m not specifically criminalizing women. What I’m doing is equalizing the law,” Tinderholt said during a hearing Tuesday, according to Fox4 News.