Texans Converge on House Committee Hearing in Support of HB 896 (Abolish Abortion Bill)
House Bill 896 (HB 896) deals with the death of an unborn child. It criminalizes the actions of those responsible for the death of that child. This includes the mother, the physician, or any other licensed health care provider, even if done with consent. This also includes the dispensation or administration of a drug where the action results in the death of an unborn child.
Isaiah 49:15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”
Texas Penal Code 19 and 22
Currently Title 5 of the Penal Code, Section 19.06 (pertaining to criminal homicide) and 22.12 (pertaining to assaultive offenses) reads “does not apply” to an unborn child. HB 896 would change this to read, “applies” to an unborn child. This then would regulate that all abortions are “Offenses Against the Person”. That is to say, this new bill would reflect and call for charges against those whose actions result in the death of an unborn child. In other words, they could be charged with Criminal Homicide and/or Assaultive Offenses, punishable by law.
Exodus 23:7 “Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty.”
Luke 17:2 “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.”
Criminal Homicide is when a person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence causes the death of an individual. Criminal homicide is murder, capital murder, manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide. Accordingly, HB 896 would extend these charges to include those who cause the death of unborn babies.
Proverbs 14:34 “Righteous exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.”
Galatians 6: 7-8 “Do not be deceived; God will not be mocked, for whatever one sows, that he also reaps. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the spirit will from the spirit reap eternal life.”
The Texas Family Code
HB 896 would also amend The Texas Family Code to state that “A living human child, from the moment of fertilization on fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum, is entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges as are secured or granted by the laws of this state to any other human child.”
Education 101: Reproduction and Creation of All Human Life
- The 3 stages: Ovum, Embryo and fetal
- Scientifically, life begins with a living cell. A cell is the smallest structural unit of the body having properties associated with life. Cells consist of a mass of protoplasm containing a nucleus.
- Basic method of all life formation for male and female require male reproductive cells, (sperm) produced in the testes, and female reproductive cells (ova) produced in the ovaries. In the event that the sperm and ovum meet and greet, from which fusion occurs and amazingly a new life is begun.
- The continuation and or preservation of life’s value for all human species is intricate, beautiful, magical and complex because we have the ability to reproduce our own image.
Details of the Bill
The bill was authored by Rep. Tony Tinderholt, of District 94. Joint authors are Rep. Mike Lang of District 60 and Rep. Valoree Swanson of District 150. Co-authors are Rep. Kyle Biedermann of District 73, Rep. Briscoe Cain of District 128, Rep. Phil Stephenson of District 85, and Rep. Jonathan Strickland of District 92.
The Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee brought forward HB 896 at the close of their session on April 8, 2019. The Committee is Chaired by Representative Jeff Leach, District 67, and the Vice Chair is Rep. Jessica Farrar District 148. The other members of the committee include, Rep. Yvonne Davis District 111, Rep. Julie Johnson District 115, Rep. Matt Krause District 93, Rep. Morgan Meyer District 108, Rep. Victoria Neave District 107, Rep. Reggie Smith District 62, and Rep. James White District 19.
Details of the Hearing on the Bill
502 citizens registered either for or against the bill. Of the 502, 446 were for the bill and 54 were against, 2 were neutral. 330 people signed up to testify as to why they stand were they do. Each was given 1 minute to introduce themselves, who they spoke for (themselves or an organization), whether they were for or against the bill and why.
The whole hearing on HB 896, can be found in the Texas House Committee Broadcast Archives. website. Testimony began around 7pm and went into the wee hours of the morning as it took 8 ½ hours for 330 people to be heard.
The testimonies were powerful and moving. For example, a child as young as about 6 years old testified about how her mother had aborted her older sibling. Under those circumstances, she asked where her future would be if her mother had aborted her too. That same mother, likewise gave testimony to her ignorance over what she was aborting and the trauma she experienced after the abortion.
Others were told by doctors that they should abort because of the health or development of the baby, only to deliver a healthy child. One man shared that his baby was missing some of its brain and could not survive outside the womb. He wanted to abort and be done with the pain. His wife convinced him otherwise. He relayed how the 2 hours spent with his son before he passed was the biggest blessing of his life and completely transformative.
Children Testify Too
Young siblings ranging from 8 to 12 testified about the unconstitutionality of abortion, citing passages from the constitution. Comparatively, many witnesses cited scripture and belief in God as their reasons.
A couple different men talked about the inequity of rights with women on the issue. They said they have no say over the life of their child. As an illustration, if they kill the child they will be prosecuted as a murderer. However, if the mother does, she is making a decision for her body and preferences.
Words from the Committee and Authors
Though the whole hearing was amazing, of particular interest though, are two segments of committee interaction. The first, is from 2:40:30 through 2:47:02, when the bill is introduced by Rep. Swanson. The second is from 10:58:45-11:09:07, when Rep. Tinderholt makes closing statements. After his closing statements there is an interesting exchange between him and Rep. Victoria Neave over the criminalization of abortion.
Neave wanted to know how making abortion a capital offense is any different that the act of abortion itself. Part of what Tinderholt said, was that “if a drunk driver kills a pregnant woman, he gets charged twice. So I’m not specifically criminalizing women. What I’m doing is equalizing the law so that everyone who is culpable or takes part can be punished.”
Stats of the Unborn Living Child
- Over 50 million living babies have been aborted in the United States alone since Roe v. Wade in 1973
- A living baby can feel pain at 20 weeks. All pain receptors are fully developed.
- The heart starts beating around 6 weeks.
- Body parts such as lower limbs, fingers and ears at 8 weeks.
- A baby’s gender can be determined at 16 to 20 weeks.
- By 24 weeks your living baby’s organs are fully formed, has the face of a newborn, and looks like mom and dad.
Status of the Bill – What’s next?
At the present time, HB 896 was left pending in the committee with no objections given. To see HB 896 move forward, it is crucial to contact your local representative https://house.texas.gov/members/, Chairman Leach, and the committee members. They must vote it out of committee if it is to make it to the floor of the house.
Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
Sandra Long Toups is a Freelance Reporter with The Northeast Texan Online News.