AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Senate has passed seven bills aimed at restricting access to abortions in Texas.
"We need to protect that unborn child and the mother, and that's the goal of what the legislature is doing this time," said Dr. Joe Pojman, executive director for Texas Alliance for Life.
The Texas Senate has given the okay to seven House bills aimed at restricting, and possibly even banning, abortions in the state. These bills will be turned over to the House for approval, but for Dr. Pojman this is a win.
"I've been lobbying for more than 30 years; I never see a day like we've had in the Texas Senate. We need those safety regulations in place that protect a woman who's having an abortion in Texas. Texas Alliance for Life, we're a pro-life organization, we want to protect unborn babies," he said.
Pro-choice advocates like Diana Gomez with Progress Texas say these bills not only infringe on women’s right to choose but also will affect low-income and marginalized Texans.
"It is terrifying. Extremist legislators aren't doing their jobs in leading our state out of a crisis and helping us access health care. Instead, they're attacking it during a pandemic when so many Texans have already gone through enough," said Gomez.
One of these bills is Senate Bill 8, commonly referred to as the "Heartbeat Bill". If passed, it would ban abortions at the six-week mark of pregnancy. "SB 8, this law that Texas is considering would be hands down the most extreme law in the country," said Drucilla Tigner, policy and advocacy strategist for ACLU of Texas.
SB 9 would completely ban abortions altogether if Roe v Wade was overturned.
Another bill being considered is House Bill 1171, which would allow a judge to appoint an attorney to a fetus in an abortion case. The bill is still awaiting a public hearing.
"While these bills are about abortion and they are about reproductive health, They're much more broadly about attacking the individual or the ability for women to choose our lives," said Tigner.
These bills are not law. The bills still have to be approved by the House, and lastly by the Governor.