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Texas faith leaders at Capitol to criticize anti-abortion bills, including Sen. Hughes’ fetal heartbeat bill

Updated: May. 4, 2021 at 11:04 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KLTV) -Leaders of different religious faiths across Texas gathered at the Texas State Capitol Tuesday to voice their concerns about several anti-abortion bills being discussed by Texas lawmakers.

Those leaders belong to a group called Just Texas. Just Texas is a grassroots movement of religious faith leaders who support reproductive freedom and LGBTQ equality. Several faith leaders spoke at a press conference in front of the Capitol steps about the dangers these bills would present to women in Texas if passed.

“I am, as prophetic, progressive and powerful voice of faith here to take God back from the hostage situation that some religious folk have taken it in to,” said Rev. Erika Forbes, a minister and the Just Texas Organizer.

East Texas Sen. Bryan Hughes introduced one of those bills, SB 8, that bans all elective abortions as soon as the fetus’ heart is capable of being detected, typically around six weeks. It’s one bill that these leaders specifically have a problem with.

“SB 8, HB 1515 do not serve the need of life they claim to protect; instead, they punish women for having sex, stripping them of their ability to protect their own lives and the lives of their children,” said Rabbi Nancy Kasten, a rabbi at Faith Commons.

Some faith leaders in attendance say that a six-week time frame can be too soon for some women to detect pregnancy. They also fear for woman who might suspect they are pregnant but might not have the money to afford a pregnancy test.

“Today in Texas, a girl denied the information she needs can become pregnant and not know what is happening to her for way more than six weeks ... for even months,” said Rabbi Kasten.

These faith leaders are hoping to send a message to governmental leaders that they believe women deserve a right to choose.

“As people of faith, we fully support the rights of people to take action that would save their life, the life that already exists,” said Rabbi Kelly Levy, a rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel.

SB 8 is set to be heard on the Texas House floor Wednesday. The Texas Senate passed the bill back in March.

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