HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Passing anti-abortion bills was one of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s priorities this legislative session.
In keeping up with those priorities, the Texas state Senate passed several anti-abortion bills this week. The bills can be found on page one of this PDF.
Supporters of these anti-abortion bills say the restrictions imposed in the bills will save lives.
“It really shows a reverence and a prioritizing of protecting innocent human life while continuing to promote compassionate alternatives to abortion,” said Joe Pojam, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.
Opposition to anti-abortion bills has been strong during previous attempts, and it looks to be continuing for these most recent bills.
Opponents of the bills claimed they’re designed to leave abortion providers in limbo while the lawsuits over the bills go on.
“They know that this fight is coming, and essentially what will happen and what they hope will happen is clinics will close,” said Nancy Cardenas-Pena, Texas State Director for Frontera Fund.
One of the bills, Senate Bill 8, would ban abortions after the detection of a heartbeat. Cardenas-Pena said that can happen as early as six weeks after getting pregnant, adding it is far too strict.
“So, it’s really difficult for us to make assumptions or assume everyone has a regular menstrual cycle because a lot of folks have irregular ones and so for folks who may have irregular ones, this would put them past a time where they might not even know they’re pregnant,” said Cardenas-Pena.
Another thing Cardenas-Pena said would happen as a result would be an increase in unsafe abortions.
“We keep receiving calls. These calls do not stop no matter what kind of regulations are in place. What is very clear to us is that the avenues for safe abortion are the ones that are at risk,” she said.
Pojam said his organization would continue to promote compassionate alternatives even if the bills become law.
“If the state is allowed to protect unborn babies from abortion, those women have vast resources, and it’s just a question of letting them know that,” he said.
He added that Texas Alliance for Life had resources available for pregnant mothers in need.
For the seven bills to be signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott, they would first have to be passed by the majority Republican Texas State House of Representatives.