“Amazing Grace” and “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” could be heard ringing out across the Texas Capitol Rotunda on Monday night as lawmakers heard details of a bill that would completely outlaw the practice of abortion.
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In addition to singing and chanting, one man, pro-life campaigner Rusty Thomas, also stood up and preached straight out of the Bible.
Thomas is the father of the late Jeremiah Thomas, a 16-year-old whose dying wish to Governor Greg Abbott was to see abortion outlawed in his home state of Texas.
“Your wish is on the Republican party platform position,” Governor Abbott responded to Jeremiah’s plea, “and we’re going to be pursuing this…And that is to outlaw abortion altogether in the state of Texas.”
Preaching out of Psalm 2, Rusty urged those in attendance to “serve the Lord in fear and rejoice with trembling.”
“Blessed are all those who put their trust in the Lord,” he screamed, before the entire Rotunda to “take a knee before the Lord of hosts.”
“All things are possible,” Rusty declared, as he pleaded with God to end abortion in the state of Texas.
Jeremiah’s younger sister, 11-year-old Jubilee, was one of several children to testify at the hearing.
What would the bill do?
The Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act, HB 896, was originally authored by Arlington Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R) and would issue a blanket ban on abortion, regardless of conflicting federal laws or court decisions.
It would also subject any who were involved with abortive procedures, mothers or physicians, to criminal prosecution.
Part of the bill, which seeks to grant inalienable rights to the unborn, reads as follows:
“A living human child, from the moment of fertilization on fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum, is entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges as are secured or granted by the laws of this state to any other human child.”
What has the reaction been?
Despite the tabling of such a bill being seen as a big win for the pro-life community, many are apprehensive about the consequences of allowing criminal prosecutions to take place.
Texans for Life president, Kyleen Wright, noted that her group “opposes criminalizing or penalizing women as it only protects the abortionist.”
Most pro-lifers, however, were thrilled to see so many giving testimony in support of the outlawing of abortion.
“Hundreds of abolitionists are here at the
“This is an epic hearing. The first that is being heard anywhere in our nation’s history!” he said.
Some 350 people chose to testify in favor of the wide-ranging ban, which was brought to hearing by Plano Republican Rep. Jeff Leach.
Desiring to create a “culture of life” in the state of Texas, Leach said he would allow a hearing to take place on bills proposed by a member.
He did, however, stop short of saying he would allow such bills to advance to the full House.
“I cannot and will not support nor will I let come out of this committee any bill on [abortion] which targets the woman with either civil or criminal liability,” Leach said, according to Dallas News.
Leach, along with 10 other Republicans, was involved in co-authoring the bill two years ago and has already advanced a separate pro-life motion to the full House which would subject any physician who failed to treat a baby born alive after an abortion to a fine of at least $100,000.