UPDATED 8:00 AM — Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Texas state senators sent a ‘born alive’ bill to the state House, which passed a similar measure out of committee Monday. The senators passed the bill in its third and final vote Tuesday.
The measure adds penalties if doctors or health care providers do not provide care to survivors of an attempted or failed abortion. They could face a third degree felony, which carries a sentence of two to 10-years in prison. They could be sued by the state’s attorney general for a minimum of $100,000.
As one of the bill’s author’s stated during debate on the floor Monday, the measure clarifies and strengthens what Texas law already requires.
“This bill adds teeth to the current law that was passed in 1979 in the 66th legislature,” said state Senator Lois Kolkhorst.
The single Democrat to support the measure gave emotional testimony during floor proceedings in the third and final reading.
“Children are a gift from God and they are a reward to the world, and it is for every child that I pray daily,”stated state Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. “Every baby should be given the opportunity to live, it is our duty as human beings to show them no harm.”
Some opponents argued the bill is pointless, because Texas allows abortions before 20-weeks when health experts claim the fetus cannot survive on its own.
A separate Senate bill is on Wednesday’s calendar, requiring providers to give informational materials to a woman 24-hours before the scheduled abortion or two-hours before if the woman lives more than 100-miles away.
The state House is also considering a bill to ban abortion altogether, and it is still working on a bill passed by the state Senate to stop cities and local governments from signing contracts with abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.