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Texas bill that would make abortions punishable by death 'will not be advanced'

While the bill had little chance of ever becoming law, it did get a hearing in Austin this week.

HOUSTON — State Rep. Tony Tinderholt's bill to make women "more personally responsible" by punishing those who get an abortion will not be advanced.

House Bill 896 calls for punishments ranging from jail time to even potentially the death penalty. The legislation, also known as the Abolition of Abortion Act, states embryos have the same rights as a human child starting at the moment of conception.

The bill would have changed the Texas penal code, possibly labeling abortions as criminal homicide.

While the bill had little chance of ever becoming law, it did get a hearing in Austin earlier this week.

According to Arya Sundaram with The Texas Tribune, Rep. Tinderholdt of Arlington reaffirmed his position on the bill after the hearing.

"Some think we should exempt mothers, but that would inherently treat unborn children differently than other people who are murdered."

Tinderholdt also said for women who are "coerced or under duress" or suffering a medical emergency there would be no penalties.

But a statement late Wednesday from Chairman Rep. Jeff Leach indicated the bill would not be advanced from his house committee.

“My commitment to advancing the pro-life cause is stronger than ever and that’s why I cannot in good conscience support House Bill 896,” read part of his statement. “… this bill moves our state and the pro-life cause in the wrong direction and it will not be advanced…”

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