AUSTIN, Texas–State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R) announced this week that he and fellow lawmakers have agreed to ease some elements of the proposed “heartbeat bill” that bars abortions in almost all cases. After receiving intense criticism over the restrictions in the bill, Sen. Hughes and other state Republicans submitted an updated draft that includes provisions that allow abortions in certain cases in which the fetus poses a threat to the mother and the father.
“Texans protect life, period,” Hughes said in a statement, “That means all life. Except in cases in which one life is threatening another life. Then you have to pick which one to protect. If one life is threatening two other lives, that makes it a little easier.”
Former state senator Wendy Davis blasted the proposed bill on social media, saying the bill does not do enough to define how a fetus can actually pose a threat to the father. Hughes responded in a statement posted to his Twitter account.
“Threats come in all shapes and sizes, some as small as a fetus. A woman knows this. God bless the mothers of Texas, for they have willingly taken on this threat from generation to generation. But Texas men, well we don’t always recognize the type of threat something so small could present. Threats to our livelihood. Threats to our mental health. While we may not have rigidly defined in this legislation what constitutes a threat to the father of a fetus, I offer you a scenario. Imagine a promising young man, an outstanding student and athlete. A quarterback who has been extended an offer to play at one of our great state universities. Imagine this young man accidentally impregnating a young woman who was unwilling to practice safe pregnancy prevention. In this scenario does the fetus pose a threat? Does it threaten the young man’s chance to pursue a quality education? Does it threaten his chance to win a possible Heisman trophy and conference championship? Let me go a step further and ask this: could this fetus threaten to keep a Texas state university from winning a national football championship?”
State Rep. Scott Sanford (R), who authored a recent bill that would appoint attorney’s to represent fetuses in cases in which minors go to court to seek abortions without parental consent, and would also require that the fetus agree under oath to be aborted, has praised the bill, and offered further explanation of what constitutes a threat.
“Some threats to the father may not present themselves immediately,” Sanford explained, “If you’re a good white boy, and you impregnate a minority girl, brown, black, or whatever, then that girl’s daddy–assuming she has one–might actually want to kill you. That’s something to consider. And even if that doesn’t happen, mixed-race children are far more likely to murder their fathers than other children. That’s a fact you can look up.”