Why HB896 For Texas?

Our desire is to protect all innocent life. HB 896 is a culmination of the work of many Christians across the state of Texas that share one desire – to repent of abortion and make it unthinkable in our state.  We believe that every life is made in the image of God and is precious, which is why we are calling on our elected officeholders to be the first in the nation to protect the unborn like they deserve and equal protection demands. Roe v. Wade began in Texas; it can and should end here. This legislation is supported by a myriad of individuals who believe that through peaceful civic engagement we can do what many deem impossible.

We hope the information below is helpful and equips you with a better understanding of this bill and the process.  We also hope that it inspires you to help us enlist more Texans in arguably the most important civic calling of our age: to give equal protection to the most innocent and vulnerable among us–the preborn children of Texas.


How would the bill be enforced if it passed?

A.    Ultimately, there should be little enforcement needed. All of the law-abiding citizens who currently get or do abortions would stop once it became illegal, and the bill does not apply to abortions done before the bill becomes law. The bill also would not apply to anyone who is forced into an abortion, to someone who had a reasonable mistaken belief about what they were doing, or to situations involving necessity, such as physicians trying to save the lives of both mother and child but prioritizing care based on triage.3

For the few abortions that might continue, the job of enforcing the law would be handled by our justice system, which would look something like this:

Law enforcement would decide whom to investigate and, if necessary, whom to arrest, if anyone.
If law enforcement arrested someone, prosecutors would decide whether or not to prosecute, whom to prosecute, whether to take the case to a grand jury, what to charge someone with, and whether or not to give someone immunity. For example, the bill would motivate a mother to testify against the abortionist and she would be given immunity for doing that.
If prosecutors did bring charges, judges and juries would then decide whether someone is guilty or not, what they are guilty of, if anything, and what the penalty should be.

From there, appellate courts would decide whether the law was applied correctly.

Finally, the governor of Texas would decide whether or not to grant a pardon, a reprieve, or to commute the sentence.

In this entire process, the idea that all of these members and institutions of our justice system would unite to unanimously agree to order the death penalty for an abortive mother is so unlikely as to be absurd. HB 896 certainly would not require that result. All that the bill would do is remove discriminatory provisions and apply the same equal protections to people before they are born as they get after they are born. If unborn children are equally valuable, they should receive equal protection. The bill does not single out mothers. It applies to anyone who promotes or assists with the abortion, including a boyfriend, husband, parent, or anyone else who solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid in committing the abortion.4 If abortion is wrong for anyone, it should be wrong for everyone.


What does the bill do?

A.    Life begins at conception. In fact, Texas law already defines an individual human person to include an unborn child from the moment of conception.1 HB 896 takes that fact to its logical conclusion to protect all unborn children.

As President Trump said in his State of the Union speech, “All children–born and unborn–are made in the holy image of God.” HB 896 would treat all human life, born and unborn, as equally valuable and sacred by ensuring equal protection for all.*

Our Republican party principles2 state, “We believe in the sanctity of innocent human life, created in the image of God, which should be protected from fertilization to natural death.” HB 896 would apply that principle and the Republican priority to abolish abortion by refusing to enforce Roe v. Wade because it deprives an unborn child of the right to life.

* A recent misconception and scare-tactic used by some is that the bill would “sentence women who have abortions to death,” but that is not true, as discussed below.

A.    No. The committee has until May 6 to vote to favorably report the bill to the Texas House of Representatives.6  Chairman Leach can call a vote and members can vote anytime the committee meets until after May 6.

Is the bill already dead?


I heard that if the bill author just changed the bill on one point that it could still pass. Is that true?

A.    Those who do not want the blame for stopping the bill that would stop abortion in Texas this year want everyone to believe that if the bill author just changed the bill on one point that it could still pass, but that’s not true.

If the chairman and other committee members were truly committed to passing the bill except for one point, they have the power to submit amendments or even to adopt an entire committee substitute without the consent of the bill author.5 In other words, if the committee were interested in outlawing even most abortions this session, they could amend the bill to take out the part they do not like and then approve it. That kind of amendment could also happen on the House floor, where it would be expected to pass easily. The bill author is not preventing the committee or the rest of the House from doing any of that if their sincere desire were really to abolish most abortion in Texas this session, even without equal protection.

The real story is that Republican leadership does not want a bill that would end even most abortions to get a vote either in this committee or on the House floor.  If they did want that, the committee would have already just changed the bill themselves.

5. Tex. H.R. Rule 4, §§ 39 and 40, Tex. H.R. 4, 86th Leg., R.S., 2019 H.J. of Tex. 27, 153. See also Id. § 42.


What can we be doing?

A.    Spread the word. The only way that we can save lives and impact this legislation is to get our friends, family, churches, and neighbors involved. If Chairman Leach continues to lead the charge to block this bill from being voted on it will effectively be a death sentence for 110,000 preborn children in the State of Texas over the next two years.  Please encourage people to sign the petition and contact their elected officeholders. Thank you!

To Chairman Leach and committee members:

Please give HB 896 a vote and vote to approve it.

WHEREAS, abortion in Texas kills 150 children every day, a clear violation of God’s law and the moral foundations of Texas and all of America; and

WHEREAS, the abominable practice of abortion is directly contrary to the principles of both the Constitution of the State of Texas and the U.S. Constitution; and

WHEREAS, Texans can no longer stand by and allow the killing of babies for profit by such organizations as Planned Parenthood; and

WHEREAS, the most compassionate thing Texans can do is to end the slaughter, provide help for those hurting, and mend the evil of abortion.

THEREFORE, I urge you to publicly support HB 896, the bill to end abortion in Texas by scheduling a committee vote, publicly pledging to vote for the bill, and voting for it.

HB 896, the bill to end abortion in Texas, has had a hearing in the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee.

But it will die soon unless Chairman Jeff Leach schedules the bill for a vote and the committee members vote to approve it.

Sign your petition now urging Chairman Leach to schedule the bill for a vote, and for all the committee members to vote to approve HB 896!

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