Texas Preborn Pain Act (HB 16)
This law was last updated on Nov 12, 2013
HB 16 would have banned abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization unless, in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, abortion is necessary to avert the woman’s death or a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, other than a psychological condition.
An abortion does not become necessary if the risk of death or a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function arises from a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct that may result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. The prohibitions in the bill would not have applied to an abortion performed on an unborn child who has a profound and irremediable congenital anomaly.
The bill would have required that abortions performed after 20 weeks must be performed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive.
The bill includes legislative findings based on junk science that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.
The bill would have prohibited prosecution of a woman on whom an abortion is performed.
The bill would have amended physician reporting requirements in Section 245.011(c), Health and Safety Code, to include probable post-fertilization age of the “unborn child.”
This bill (and its companion SB 13) did not pass during the first special legislative session called by Gov. Rick Perry in 2013, but Texas’ omnibus abortion bill (HB 2), which was signed into law on July 18, 2013 during the second special legislative session contains a nearly identical 20-week abortion ban.