Rep. Schaefer bill closes loophole on some late-term abortions

Updated: Apr. 7, 2021 at 5:50 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KLTV) - State Rep. Matt Schaefer has introduced legislation which would stop late-term abortions when the fetus has a severe medical issue.

Schaefer (R-Tyler) introduced the bill to the House Committee on Public Health on Wednesday.

The bill closes a loophole from a previous Texas law which prohibited third-trimester abortions. HB 3218 removes the exception “the fetus has a severe and irreversible abnormality, identified by reliable diagnostic procedures.”

The legislation also mandates that the mother is provided with perinatal palliative care to “reduce the suffering of a pregnant woman, her preborn child, and her family, from diagnosis of the preborn child’s life-threatening disability through the delivery and possible death of the child as a result of the life-threatening disability.”

In the committee hearing, Schaefer was met with debate by Reps. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) and Erin Zwiener (D-Kyle).

Collier questioned whether the resources would be available for mothers, including those in rural areas.

“I’m curious why you feel the need to take away that discretion from someone who is pregnant or her medical provider,” Zwiener said.

“I believe that everyone is created in the image of God,” Schaefer said. “And I believe the hands of a doctor are there to heal and comfort and not to kill. And I don’t believe we should kill sick people.”

The committee heard from many witnesses for and against the bill. The committee left the bill pending without a vote on Wednesday.

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