The Texas representative who introduced a bill that would make all abortions illegal in the state has explained his reasoning behind his controversial House Bill 948: He believes criminalizing abortion would force women to be more “personally responsible.”
In an interview with the Texas Observer, Rep. Tony Tinderholt said, “Right now, it’s real easy. Right now, they don’t make it important to be personally responsible because they know that they have a backup of ‘Oh, I can just go get an abortion.’”
However, many would argue that Texas is not a state where abortion access is “real easy.” Restrictive laws closed more than half of the state’s clinics between 2013 and 2016, disproportionately affecting black and Latina women and leaving many to seek abortions in other states. While the Supreme Court struck down those laws in July, many of those clinics remain shuttered, since it takes time to rebuild staff and find new facilities. Just this December, Texas also proposed a rule that the fetal tissue from miscarriages and abortions get a proper burial or be cremated. (That rule is currently blocked, awaiting further review from a U.S. District judge.)
Tinderholt went to on to tell the Observer, “Now, we both know that consenting adults don’t always think smartly sometimes. But consenting adults need to also consider the repercussions of the sexual relationship that they’re gonna have, which is a child.”
He also stated that criminalizing all abortion would “reduce pregnancies.”
However, studies have shown that anti-abortion laws don’t lower pregnancy rates—access to contraception does. Instead, criminalizing and restricting access to abortion has historically led to unsafe abortion methods and some women’s deaths.
H/T the Cut