April 8, 2019/Media

No April Fool’s Joke: Texas Republicans Push Death Penalty for Doctors Who Perform Abortions

Austin, TX — Texas Republicans on the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee are pushing a bill that would make abortion illegal with no exception for rape, incest or fetal anomaly and punishable by death. [CSHB 2350, April 1, 2019]

Vulnerable Republican Jeff Leach, who barely won re-election by 2.3% in 2018, has the opportunity to prevent HB 2350 from being considered in committee, and yet, has refused to put women’s health over partisan politics.

Texas Democratic Party Spokesperson Brittany Switzer issued the following statement:

“Sadly, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. All Texans should be sickened by this new Republican attempt to make exercising a constitutional right punishable by death. Healthcare is a right, and women and doctors should not be threatened with death row for seeking to exercise that right.

“While Democrats remain focused on fully funding our schools, creating jobs, and bettering our access to healthcare, Republicans are focused on draconian policies that would slaughter a woman’s right to choose and place doctors in a permanent state of fear.

“Texas Democrats will always fight back against Republican attempts to restrict access to quality, affordable, reproductive healthcare because the right to an abortion should not solely exist on paper, it must be accessible and available.”

Statistics on reproductive justice in the State of Texas:

  • There are 5.3 million women of reproductive age in Texas.

  • 7 in 10 Americans across the country believe that abortion should be legal.

  • 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion in her lifetime. Abortion is a safe and common procedure.

  • 2 in 3 Texas women having an abortion are already mothers.

  • 1 in 5 women will rely on Planned Parenthood in her lifetime.

  • 43% of Texas women live in counties with no abortion clinic.

  • In 2014, 1,795,160 Texas women aged 13–44 were in need of publicly funded family planning services.

  • Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world.

See section 170A.0002 of the bill:

And Chapter 19 of the Texas Penal Code:

As you can see, if an abortion is attempted or performed by an individual and the fetus “dies”, the person is subject to Chapter 19 of the Penal Code, including the death penalty.