FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2017
Disabled Preborn Justice Act Filed by Rep. Matt Schaefer
AUSTIN, TX– Today, Rep. Matt Schaefer filed House Bill 1971, legislation that will bring needed pro-life changes to three areas of abortion law in Texas:
1) The Disabled Preborn Justice Act would prohibit discriminatory abortions at all stages of pregnancy, based on the preborn child’s race, ethnicity, sex, probability of Down Syndrome or other disability.
“These immutable characteristics are where we reject harmful discrimination for people of all ages,” said Rep. Schaefer. “Preborn babies should also be protected from this type of fatal discrimination.”
2) The bill would close the loophole for late abortions for preborn children diagnosed with disabilities that are life-threatening, referred to as “severe fetal abnormalities.” 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. The Disabled Preborn Justice Act removes the fetal abnormality exception loophole for late abortions. 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. “We don’t allow doctors to kill people because they are sick, disabled, or even terminally ill. 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.”
3) 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. Comfort care includes special support throughout pregnancy, delivery and, depending on severity of diagnosis, up to and after the natural death of the child. 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,” Schaefer said.