Texas Weighs Bill to Criminalize Nearly All Abortions

A Republican state legislator in Texas has introduced a bill that would ban all abortion except in the cases of rape or incest. State Rep. George Lavender introduced his blatantly unconstitutional bill to eliminate legal abortion as the state legislature considers legislation that would allow residents to purchase license plates to fund anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers. Moreover, the legislature just passed a bill that would require women to look at a medically unnecessary and potential unsafe ultrasound before terminating their pregnancy. Other states are considering similar bans on abortion but through so-called “personhood” legislation.

Chris Hoppe of the Dallas Morning News reports that if Lavender’s bill passes, it would likely be struck down by a court challenge, and that Texas already has a law criminalizing abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned:

Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana, has jumped well past the debate on the mandatory sonograms and filed a bill on Wednesday that would prevent any abortion except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.

The bill would be a direct affront to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision and certainly, if passed, be detoured through a lengthy and predicatable court challenge. At least the ACLU promises that it will.

The civil rights’ group called the bill, “a draconian attempt to roll back nearly 40 years of history by eliminating women’s right to make decisions regarding their own bodies,” said ACLU of Texas legal director Lisa Graybill.

The ACLU said that if this bill should pass, along with a package of bills aimed at illegal immigrants, that Texas — now in the throes of cutting teachers, nursing homes and health programs — will end up expending large amounts of taxpayer money to defend lawsuits that have little chance of success.

“The state of Texas is attempting to trump federal law,” said ACLU executive director Terri Burke. “This is a serious overreach.”

Texas currently has law that would immediately outlaw abortions if the Supreme Court overturns its decision and leaves the legality of abortions up to individual states.