Tracking this week.
Roberts spoke about a bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry in June at a Fort Worth church school that requires parental consent before minors can have abortions and places additional restrictions on late-term abortions.
In relation to those changes, Roberts noted that the Legislature two years ago altered the definition of an individual in homicide statutes from “a human being who has been born and is alive” to “a human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation, from fertilization until birth.”
There was debate when the definition of individual was changed about whether the effect would make abortion the equivalent of murder. So lawmakers took particular care to write into the homicide statute that a lawful medical procedure performed with consent by a physician or other licensed health-care provider, if the death of the unborn child was the intended result, is an abortion. That provided a lawful defense or exception to homicide laws.
Continuing to connect the statutory dots, however, Roberts told local prosecutors that there is no such defense provided for a doctor who performs an unlawful medical procedure, such as an abortion on a minor without parental consent.
So, in effect, the doctor would have killed a child younger than 6 in an illegal abortion and thereby subjected himself or herself to potential prosecution for capital murder, Roberts told the dumbfounded audience.
Texas Authorizes Death for Some Abortion Providers
Abortion providers in Texas who don't follow the exacting letter of that State's abortion law are eligible for capital punishment according to the Texas District and County Attorneys Association's Lindsay Roberts. “This is a case study of sorts on how changing one code can have dramatic effects on other codes that actually reference those statutes,” Roberts said. “I presented it as an unintended consequence on a change to the civil code, but you will have to talk to your local prosecutors there about how they will handle those situations. I just presented what the Legislature has done.” The Waco Tribune-Herald notes:
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