Even when Texas adopted new, restrictive anti-abortion laws in July, Democratic State Senator Eddie Lucio’s proposal didn’t make it to a vote. But the legislator’s conviction that women need to be taught that babies can be put up for adoption has not waned. Lucio re-filed his bill forcing women to participate in a webinar on adoption and has vowed to keep up the fight, saying he’ll re-file next year if he has to.
Texas recently passed a ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and a requirement that all abortions be performed in surgical centers. Lucio’s bill, if passed, would require that prior to visiting a doctor to obtain an abortion, a woman must take an online course explaining how child adoption works.
The course would take three hours to complete and a woman would have to present her doctor with a certificate of completion at least 24 hours before the doctor may perform an abortion procedure, under Luccio’s proposal.
Lucio was the only Democrat in the Texas State Senate to support the new, tighter laws against abortion in the state. The new laws were strongly backed by the state’s highly conservative Republican Governor Rick Perry. Lucio splits with the governor, however, when it comes to Medicaid expansion, which would provide broader access to health care for the state’s poorest residents. Perry opposes expanding Medicaid.
Lucio says that his online adoption class proposal is merely designed to help women make more informed decisions.
“We're not trying to hurt the mother, we're trying to help the unborn be born,” he told the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.
But adoption advocates do not believe the classes would help anyone.
"What I don't like about it is it seems punitive," said Rory Hall, executive director of the Austin-based nonprofit Adoption Advocates Inc. "It's another hoop for women to jump through when they face an unplanned pregnancy."