For the past few weeks, the Texas State Legislature has been embroiled in a battle over restrictive abortion legislation that’s made a celebrity out of state senator Wendy Davis and inspired protests and marches all around the state’s capitol. Now, a state representative wants to ban any abortion restrictions from being imposed in Texas until the state abolishes the death penalty.
“State Rep. Harold Dutton Jr. (D) introduced the measure to counter a slew of abortion restrictions proposed by Republican legislators in the Texas statehouse," according to The Huffington Post. "Dutton's measure, HB 45, would block any law that restricts access to abortions until 60 days after the state abolishes its death penalty. Dutton also offered a similar amendment to HB 2, the contentious abortion bill famously filibustered by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) last month.”
“Twelve people can put somebody to death in this state,” Dutton said of his amendment, which was eventually tabled. “But now, we want one person to not be able to decide that same issue.”
HB 2 was passed July 12 and imposes a ban on abortions of pregnancies longer than 20 weeks in length. The bill also outlines several medical requirements that all but five clinics in Texas fail to meet, according to The Port Arthur News.
Texas currently leads the nation in usage of capital punishment, and recently executed its 500th inmate since 1976. Two-hundred and sixty-one of these executions have occurred under Gov. Rick Perry, who called for a special session of the Texas State Legislature after HB 2 was successfully filibustered by Davis when the legislation was in the form of a senate bill, SB 5.