There have been several bills introduced in the 87th Texas legislature that take steps towards protecting unborn children. These bills accomplish a wide rance of things, from holding abortion providers and physicians accountable for taking advantage of women, expanding informed consent, providing personhood rights to unvorn children, and outright banning some or all abortions (these bills are specially marked with a **). Here is a comprehensive list of all the pro-life bills introduced this session.
HB 42 (Swanson) – This bill potects women from losing their health coverage if they refuse to get an abortion, regardless of whether the abortion was recommended by a physician.
** HB 44 (Swanson) – This bill creates criminal and civil penalties (2nd degree felonies for the first offense, 1st degree felony with other related offenses, and a $30,000 fee for each violation) to be brought against a physician who:
- aborts third-trimester unborn children,
- performs abortions without themselves determining the post-fertilization age of the unborn child, or performs an abortion knowing that age is over 20 weeks,
- performs partial-birth or dismemberment abortions.
Swanson’s HB 92 could create only the $30,000 fine, and her HB 2855 would create only the criminal penalty.
** HB 69 (Toth)- This bill would ban abortion after 12 weeks post-fertilization, lowering it from the 20-week ban that currently exists.
** HB 1165 (Slawson) – Known as “The Heartbeat Bill”, HB 1165 requires that physicians test for a fetal heartbeat, and prohibits the performance of abortion after a heartbeat can be detected.
HB 1171 (Sanford) – This bill would require the appointment of a willing attorney to represent an unborn child in a courtproceeding to authorize a minor to obtain an abortion.
HB 1173 (Noble et al.); SB 650 (Campbell et al.)- This bill prohibits a governmental entity from using taxpayer resources to provide logistical support to assist a woman seeking an abortion.
HB 1229 (Leman) – This bill requires that doctors that prescribe abortion-inducing drugs schedule a follow-up appointment not more than two weeks after the drug is administered. The purpose of this bill is to keep abortion doctors accountable, because they are not subject to the same scrutiny as other physicians.
** HB 1280 (Capriglione et al.); SB 9, SB 391 (Paxton et al.) – This bill prohibits the performance of abortion unless a physician, through the exercise of “reasonable medical judgement”, determines that the woman is in a life-threatening condition caused by her pregnancy, and the physician provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive. It is a 2nd degree felony, or a 1st degree felony if the child dies as a result, and a charge of $100,000 per offense.
HB 1291 (Bell, Keith); SB 573 (Springer) – This bill requires that hospitals or healthcare facilities notify each physician, nurse, and staff member that they have the right to object to direct or indirect performance of abortion, and that the hospitall or facility is prohibited from discriminating if they choose to object.
HB 1424 (Oliverson et al.) – This bill expands the rights of any hospital or healthcare facility employees to object to participating in procedures that violate their ethical, moral, or religious beliefs. This right to object would no longer be limited to just abortion.
** HB 1432 (Shaheen) – This bill would prohibit anyone from aborting an unborn child based on the race, ethnicity, or national origin of that child or woman. Physicians who violate this law would have their licenses revoked and would incur an administrative penalty.
** HB 1515 (Slawson et al.); SB 8 (Hughes et al.) – Titled the “Texas Heartbeat Act”, this lengthy bill creates the same ban as does HB 1165, after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, with several additional regulations on the abortions that remain legal. However, it also ensures that anyone aiding or abetting in the abortion faces civil liability, except for the woman on whom the abortion is performed. Notably, 50 Republicans in the House and 17 in the Senate have signed on as additional authors of co-authors of this bill.
** HB 1623 (Toth) – This bill would designate unborn children at all stages as “persons” and recognizes their unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence, including the right to life.
HB 2313 (Leach); SB 802 (Paxton) – This bill requires that physicians who are going to perform an abortion on a woman must ensure that the woman recieved free pre-abortion counseling from someone who does not perform abortions. The counseling must include medically accurate information, an offer of alternative assistance, and screening for trafficking or family violence. This bill also establishes a 24-hour helpline for women seeking abortion to provide them with information about available resources.
HB 2337 (Klick); SB 394 (Lucio et al.) – This bill expands the definition of “abortion-inducing drug”, prevents the provision of those drugs via delivery service, and requres that physicians examine abortion-seeking women in person.
HB 2727 (Hefner) – This bill expands informed consent to abortion by creating a criminal offense to anyone who threatens harm to a woman in order to coerce her into abortion.
HB 2949 (King, Phil); SB 1439 (Campbell et al.) – This bill requires that any hospital employee or intern cannot be scheduled to perform or assist in an abortion unless they opt-in to do so.
HB 2976 (Cason) – This bill requires a physician who performs or induces an abortion at any point in the pregnancy to file a death certificate for the unborn child. This modifies the previous requirement that the unborn child must weigh 350 grams or be 20 weeks post-fertilization for a death certificate.
** HB 3218 (Schaefer et al.); SB 1173 (Hancock) – Known as the “Preborn Nondiscrimination Act”, This bill covers several different issues relating to abortion. It will:
- Ensure that a pregnant woman who is told that her unborn child has a life-threatening disability is informed of available perinatal palliative care; HB 4304 (Schaefer) accomplishes this requirement
- Prohibit all abortion in the third trimester, regardless of the viability of the child,
- Prohibit the performance of abortion on a woman based on race, ethnicity, sex, or disability of the unborn child, or coersion into abortion based on these standards; HB 4339 (Schaefer) accomplishes this requirement
** HB 3326 (Slaton); SB 1671 (Hall) – Known as the “Abolition of Abortion through Equal Protection for All Unborn Children Act”, this bill recognizes that from the moment of conception a child has the same rights, powers, and privileges as any other human child and fully bans abortion.
HB 3641 (Slaton) – Known as the “”Roe v. Wade Is Unconstitutional Act”, this act voids Roe v Wade and any other federal court decisions related to abortion. It finds that the US Constitution does not allow for abortion, and that Texas can make its own decisions related to abortion.
** HB 3760 (Oliverson); SB 1647 (Perry et al.) – This bill is large in scope and accomplishes several things. First, it requires that physicians provide a greater scope of information to a pregnant woman concerning the availability of palliative care for her unborn child (HB 4304 (Schaefer) satisfies this portion). It also protects disabled children from being discriminated against and cuts off abortion at the point the child’s heartbeat can be detected.
HB 4200 (Hefner) – This bill allows home-rule municipalities to prohibit abortions.
HB 4271 (Schaefer) – This bill would prevent institutions of higher education from providing instruction on performing abortion. Those instutitions are also prohibited from assisting in litigation that would prevent the enforcement of laws relating to abortion, religious freedom, immigration, or capital punishment.
HB 4527 (King, Phil) – This bill would add one hour of instruction on the laws relating to forced abortions to the training required for police officers.
*HJR 15 (Vasut) – This resolution calls upon the US Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to prohibit abortion, euthanasia, or any other act that deprives someone of life from conception to natural death.
HJR 80 (Slawson) – This resolution proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution clarifying that the constitution cannot be interpreted to secure or protect the right to obtain an abortion or the expenditure of public money on abortion.
HJR 113 (Cason); SJR 25 (Hall) – This resolution proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution recognizing that the right to life applies to all unborn children.
** HJR 158 (Bonnen) – This resolution proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution stating that the term “citizen” applies to all unborn children and that they are granted the right to life, prohibiting all abortion.
SB 294 (Perry et al.) – This bill requires the Department of State Health Services to report the number of abortions performed in each county.
SB 1146 (Perry et al.) – This bill requires greater reporting of abortions performed outside an abortion facility
SB 1546 (Hughes) – This bill generally strengthens abortion restrictions and regulations. It also increases the standards required for abortion facilities.
Edited on 3/24/2021. *HJR 15 would call on the US congress under article V of the constitution to overturn Roe v Wade. If this petition is joined by 34 states, the convention would be required.
Cover image taken by Rebekah Wendt at the 2020 March for Life in Austin, TX