AUSTIN - In response to Governor Rick Perry adding the issue of abortion to the call of the special session today, Representative Allen Fletcher (Tomball/Cy-Fair) filed House Bill 55, prohibiting sex-selective abortions.
"It is not disputed that the horrifying practice of sex-selective abortion occurs in the world, most notably in countries where institutional and cultural biases encourage it," Rep. Fletcher said. "When I originally filed this legislation, some questioned whether this is actually an issue in Texas. Unfortunately, the evidence strongly suggests that sex-selective abortions do occur in this country. This is further supported by the fact that certain groups are actively trying to prevent similar legislation from being enforced in other states, such as Arizona."
"The United States has become a safe haven for those seeking legal sex-selective abortions. In countries where the practice is far more prevalent, governments have made it illegal. In contrast, sex-selective abortions are completely legal at the federal level. Texas should join with other states in prohibiting this practice," Rep. Fletcher said.
"The sad reality is that the targeted victims of this horrifying practice are overwhelmingly female. I think that both sides of the aisle can come together in agreement that terminating a pregnancy because an unborn child is the wrong gender is indefensible. H.B. 55 would prevent prenatal discrimination leading to abortion based on the sex of an unborn child."
H.B. 55 prohibits the physician from knowingly performing the procedure and does not punish the mother.
A similar bill was filed last year in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 3541 that was supported by a majority of the members, including a 24-8 vote among the Texas Congressional Delegation. However, the bill needed a two-thirds majority vote to pass.
Rep. Fletcher authored this bill in the regular session, but it failed to make it through the legislative process. In addition to Arizona, three other states currently outlaw sex-selective abortions, including Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Kansas and North Dakota passed similar bans earlier this year that have not yet taken effect.
You can check on bills filed by going to the website http://www.legis.state.tx.us.
Contact: Robert Papierz