Pro-Choice Texas: Proposed Abortion Bills Target Vulnerable Populations

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas

A Texas pro-choice organization says three bills lawmakers are debating this week will further restrict access to abortion care.

"HB 2 devastated access to safe and legal abortion across the state, btu that wasn't enough for the anti-choice zealots in the Texas Legislator," NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Heather Busby said in a press release. "Now they're trying to pile on even more regulations and restrictions that would make access to a safe and legal medical procedure almost impossible for many Texans to obtain."

That bill required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of a clinic, which dramatically hampered abortion access in many parts of the state.

This week, legislators are debating HB 723, 3446 and 3765, which would impose more abortion clinic regulation and changes in how minors may obtain abortion access.

Anyone younger than 18 in Texas can get an abortion if a parent is notified and provides consent, but that's not always possible. That's where judicial bypass comes into play. This means a minor whose parent might be a danger because of abuse or neglect — or if involving a parent is not possible — is able to obtain a judge's order allowing an abortion.

According to NARAL Pro-Choice, HB 723 would change what a teenager has to prove in order to acquire a judge's order. Specifically, a teenager would have to prove to a court of law that they are mature and well-informed and notifying a parent would not be in their best interest because of a likelihood of abuse. Teenagers only have to prove one under current Lone Star State law, according to the organization.

Tina Hester, executive director of Jane's Due Process, said most teenagers would be unable to do meet those grounds.

"Particularly younger abused teenagers who may not necessarily be able to prove maturity. Or mature teens living on their own because the parents aren't in the picture, who cannot prove abuse but are logistically unable to get parental consent," Hester said in a press release.

NARAL Pro-Choice opposes that bill, along with bills filed by Rep. Jodie Laubenberg.

One of those bills (3446) would require abortion clinics to display signs encouraging teenagers to report being forced to undergo an abortion and promoting adoption. The other bill (3765), would require a parent's consent to an abortion to be notarized.

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