Texas Lawmaker Hopes Bill Punishing Women For Abortion Will Make Women More ‘Personally Responsible’

A Texas Republican lawmaker who introduced a bill earlier this month that would instruct the state to ignore Roe v. Wade and would open the door for murder charges against women who have abortions told a reporter today that his bill will encourage women to be more “personally responsible.”

The Texas Observer reports:

State Representative Tony Tinderholt, of Arlington, said in an interview with the Observer that, if passed, the bill would reduce the number of pregnancies “when they know that there’s repercussions.”

“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 said.

House Bill 948 would ban and criminalize abortions at any stage, direct state officials to ignore “any conflicting federal” laws, and would no longer exempt pregnancies as a result of rape, incest or fetal abnormalities. The bill would remove the exception for abortion in the state’s penal code for criminal homicide, meaning that women and providers could face charges as serious as murder for the procedure.

Tinderholt’s bill has been heavily promoted by the group Abolish Abortion Texas, which calls it “the first true abolitionist bill ever filed in Texas” and praises it for removing “the exemptions to special classes of people that remove criminal liabilities for murder of the preborn.”

In a video promoting the bill that Abolish Abortion Texas shared on its Facebook page, anti-abortion radio host Jeff Durbin specifically addresses the issue of punishing women for abortion, saying: “Think in terms of consistency here. If there is a mother who actually, with malice of forethought, ends the life of her five-year-old, we would call that, in any other context, murder. If there was a mother who hired somebody to kill their four-year-old child, their seven-year-old child, we would of course call that murder. People who are engaged in the act of ending the life of other human beings in an unjust manner are called murderers in any other context.”

He adds that the bill “provides the support for the civil magistrate to essentially provide justice for these unborn children.”

The bill echoes language that Abolish Abortion Texas succeeded in including in the platform of the state’s Republican Party last year, which called on the state to nullify federal abortion laws. Similar “abolition” efforts linked to state groups affiliated with the group Abolish Human Abortion have popped up over the past several months in Oklahoma, Ohio and Florida.