One Texas state representative is pushing a bill that would take anti-choice measures in Texas one step further: Tony Tinderholt, of Arlington, TX, wants to criminalize all abortions.
The "Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act" would allow authorities to charge women and health clinic staff with murder for having and providing abortions. And it specifically instructs local law enforcement to "enforce those laws regardless of any contrary or conflicting federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, or court decisions."
If there was any doubt that this legislation is paternalistic and represents a lack of respect for a woman's ability and right to make informed choices about her life, Tinderholt made his opinion of women clear in an interview with the Texas Observer this week.
He told the outlet he thinks the law would make women behave in a "more personally responsible" way.
“Right now, it’s real easy. Right now, they don’t make it important to be personally responsible because they know that they have a backup of ‘oh, I can just go get an abortion.’ Now, we both know that consenting adults don’t always think smartly sometimes. But consenting adults need to also consider the repercussions of the sexual relationship that they’re gonna have, which is a child,” he told the paper.
Tinderholt also doesn't believe in allowing women to have abortions in cases of rape or incest.
He told the Observer he's “a firm believer that God creates children in his own image, regardless of how that child is brought into the world, it’s created in his image, and how can someone want to destroy that?”
The representative introduced the bill into the Texas legislature last week. It's not clear how much support the bill has so far, but it is in line with the Texas GOP's party platform, which lays out making abortion illegal as a core goal:
Abolish Abortion- We call upon the Texas Legislature to enact legislation stopping the murder of unborn children; and to ignore and refuse to enforce any and all federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, and court rulings, which would deprive an unborn child of the right to life.
Women's advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice says such efforts could be unconstitutional, and the bill may never get off the ground. But the logic behind it, if we go by Tinderholt's comments, is another indication of just how little regard the Texas GOP has for women's rights and a woman's ability to make adult decisions for themselves.
The state's H.B.2, which was struck down by the Supreme Court last year, lead to the closure of 22 clinics across the state, forcing women to travel long distances or not have safe, legal abortions at all.