Some Republican lawmakers in Texas plan to focus on investing in foster care and adoption services if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
“It only makes sense,” state Rep. Steve Toth, R, said of promoting foster care and adoption, The Texas Tribune reported.
“The dog’s caught the car now.”
Chief Justice John Roberts last week confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court may be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide.
Texas has a “trigger law” that would make performing an abortion a felony, which would go into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court overturns Roe.
Some conservative members of the Texas state House said they would want to ensure strict enforcement of the abortion ban and to prevent pregnant Texans from seeking legal abortions in other states.
“I think I can speak for myself and other colleagues that align with my policy beliefs — we’ll continue to do our best to make abortion not just outlawed, but unthinkable,” Rep. Briscoe Cain, R, said, the Tribune reported.
University of Texas at Austin law professor Liz Sepper told the Tribune that Texas already has statutes to punish virtually anyone involved in the procurement of an abortion.
Senate Bill 8 last year became law. It empowers private citizens to sue anyone who “abets” an abortion after six weeks of gestational age, as well as unenforced pre-Roe abortion statutes, some dating to the 1850s, criminalizing a person who gets the procedure, which the Legislature never repealed.
“If Roe is overturned, there’s already a criminal ban, there’s already an aiding and abetting ban, there’s already a ban on mailing medication abortion,” Sepper said. “In terms of the law’s ability to change behavior, they’ve almost filled all the gaps — with the exception of criminalizing the pregnant person involved in an abortion.”
Cain said that he wanted to go after abortion funds, which help defray the cost of out-of-state trips for pregnant Texans to receive the procedure, citing a state law that prohibits “furnishing the means for procuring an abortion.”
Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement last week that the Legislature would continue to strengthen adoption programs in the state.
“Texas has led the way to protect innocent life in the womb, and we will continue to do so moving forward in the Texas Senate,” Patrick said, the Tribune reported.
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