AUSTIN – State representative Matt Schaefer of Tyler has filed legislation he says will bring pro-life changes to the Texas abortion law. He says the bill prohibits discriminatory abortions at all stages of pregnancy, based on the preborn child’s race, ethnicity, sex or probability of disability. He said the measure would close the loophole for late abortions for preborn children diagnosed with disabilities that are life-threatening. The Disabled Preborn Justice Act would also require giving information to mothers about comfort care services, perinatal hospice, if their baby has been diagnosed with severe fetal abnormalities. According to Schaefer, “What is considered homicide for a baby that is even one minute old, should also be illegal when that person is still in the womb.”
According to Schaefer, Texas currently bans abortions after 20 weeks except where it threatens the life, or health of the mother, or where there is a severe fetal abnormality. He say, the Disabled Preborn Justice Act removes the fetal abnormality exception loophole for late abortions. Scaefer says North Dakota has outlawed this practice, but Texas remains behind. “A person is a person no matter how small; and a person is a person no matter how sick,” Schaefer said.
In talking about his legislation, Schaefer said that states like Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arizona have existing perinatal hospice programs. “For a person outside the womb with disabilities, even life-threatening disabilities, there is access to medical treatment, and hospice care if needed. We should ensure that mothers and families have access to the support they need when they receive a heartbreaking diagnosis for their preborn child. The State of Texas must do more to ensure that happens.”