A Texas state lawmaker said that punishing women for their abortions would make them “more personally responsible” for their sexual behavior, the Texas Observer reported.
Tony Tinderholt, a Republican state representative, proposed a bill that would ban and criminalize abortions, which would defy the federal abortion law under Roe v. Wade. If the bill passed, women and abortion providers could face criminal charges for terminating a pregnancy. The legislation also makes no exceptions for cases of rape and incest.
In an interview with the Observer, Tinderholt said, “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,'” Tinderholt said. “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.”
Many anti-abortion supporters oppose punishing women for having the procedure. After President Trump said on the campaign trail that he believed there should be “some form of punishment” for women who end their pregnancies if the practice is banned, he received backlash from individuals on both sides of the issue. Trump later walked back those comments, saying that the performing doctor should be held responsible.
Donna Howard, a Democratic state representative, criticized Tinderholt’s bill and comments, telling the Observer that abortion is a choice “that should not be made by someone who has no clue what’s going on.”
“That is so ignorant to think… that women are somehow irresponsibly deciding that they’re going to go ahead and get pregnant because it’s so easy to get an abortion,” Howard said. “It’s just baffling to me that he could have that lack of compassion and understanding for fellow Texans.”