A Texas state legislator introduced a bill that would immediately ban abortion, under the theory that Texas is a “free and independent state.”
State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-TX) introduced HB 103 — the “Abolition of Abortion through Equal Protection for All Unborn Children Act” — on July 8 to invoke Texan state sovereignty and abolish abortion within the state’s borders.
Quoting the Texas Constitution — which provides that “Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States” — the bill acknowledges “the sanctity of innocent human life created in the image of God, which should be equally protected from fertilization to natural death.”
Accordingly, the legislation would “ensure the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all unborn children from the moment of fertilization,” “establish that a living human unborn child, from the moment of fertilization and at every stage of development, is entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges as are secured or granted by the laws of this state to any other human person,” and “rescind all licenses to kill unborn children,” among other provisions.
Slaton’s bill also references Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ assertion in June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo that “the Constitution does not constrain the States’ ability to regulate or even prohibit abortion.”
The legislation entirely abolishes abortion — except for the case of an ectopic pregnancy “that seriously threatens the life of the mother when a reasonable alternative to save the lives of both the mother and the unborn child is unavailable.”
Free the States — a group that seeks a “paradigm shift away from incremental, pro-life regulationism” — explained that Slaton has previously filed similar legislation:
Slaton fought valiantly for preborn children in Texas during his freshman session in the House — introducing HB3326 which would have immediately provided preborn children the equal protection of the law, motioning to amend House rules to force a vote on abolishing abortion before any vote to name bridges or roads, and filing an amendment to a counter-productive pro-life bill to make it immediately abolish abortion.
Across the nation, pro-life lobbying groups have nixed similar bills — such as the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act — in legislative committees, under the presumption that states are unable to ignore Roe v. Wade. Free the States points to early signs of similar opposition from leading pro-life groups in Texas.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the Texas Legislature is currently gridlocked as a result of Democratic House members fleeing the state to kill election reform bills. Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) threatened to arrest the lawmakers upon their return to Texas.
“What the law is, it’s in the Constitution, and that is the house, the State House of Representatives who were here in the Capitol in Austin right now, they do have the ability to issue a call to have their fellow members who are not showing up to be arrested, but only so long as that arrest is made in the state of Texas,” Abbott said during an appearance on Fox News. “That’s why they have fled the state. Once they step back into the state of Texas, they will be arrested and brought to the Texas Capitol, and we will be conducting business.”