Texas Outlaws Exception For Abortion If Fetus Is Non-Viable

Republican state Sen. Kelly Hancock, the author of the bill.Gage Skidmore / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Texas lawmakers want to enact a law prohibiting abortion even in cases of non-viable fetuses.

The Texas Senate is broadening the reach of anti-abortion legislation in the state after it passed a bill that would remove an exception that allows abortion on unviable pregnancies more than 20 weeks old, the Texas Tribune reports.

The statue, if passed into law, would also prohibit discriminatory abortions, those that are driven by the baby’s sex, race or disability. “Discriminating against another human being based on race, gender and disability are never okay, even in utero,” said state Senator Kelly Hancock, the author of the bill.

The legislation comes after Georgia passed and Alabama proposed stringent abortion statues intended to curtail the effects of Roe v. Wade. The Georgia bill would criminalize abortions after a doctor can detect a heartbeat, while the Alabama proposal would prohibit them once the fetus is in the uterus.

Opponents of the Texas bill, which passed with a 20-11 vote, say it will force women to “endure traumatic and ill-fated pregnancies,” according to the Texas Tribune. “Your intention is, in fact, to force the woman to carry a fetus that has no chance of survival,” said Democratic state Senator Jose Rodriguez.

The legislation would require doctors to provide women with high-risk pregnancies with information about perinatal palliative care (support services for parents who choose to follow through with that kind of pregnancies). The bill, however, would not require women to disclose their reasons to pursue an abortion.

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