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Texas abortion bill proposes death penalty for women, physicians

Posted: 5:36 PM, Apr 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-10 18:39:33-04

AUSTIN  (NBC News) – Texas lawmakers are considering  a bill  that would ban abortion in the state and charge women who have abortions with homicide, which can carry the death penalty in the state.

Rep. Tony Tinderholt, a Republican, introduced the “Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act,” or House Bill 896, in January to “protect the rights of an unborn child” but it was granted its first committee hearing on Monday and Tuesday.

Nearly 500 people testified, with 54 people testifying against the bill, according to  The Washington Post.

“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 text of the bill reads.

Republican Rep. Matt Krause, who sits on the Texas House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, which heard the bill, said in a  statement  on Facebook before the hearing that it was “the first legislative hearing since 1973 on this topic.”

Tinderholt introduced a similar bill in 2017, but it failed to leave committee. He was  placed under state protection  because of death threats he received after proposing the bill, according to  The Texas Tribune.

Tinderholt did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Democrats on the committee excoriated the bill, calling the provisions hypocritical.

“I’m trying to reconcile in my head the arguments that I heard tonight about how essentially one is OK with subjecting a woman to the death penalty … to do to her the exact same thing that one is alleging she is doing to a child,” Democratic Rep. Victoria Neave said during the hearing, according to  The Washington Post.