Texas’ far-right political movement is on the rise, now wanting to introduce death penalty for abortion patients

By Charlie Sawyer

Published May 31, 2024 at 11:55 AM

Reading time: 1 minute

New proposals put forward during the recent Texas GOP convention indicate that Republican politicians are open to applying the death penalty to abortion providers. The Southern state’s Republican 2024 party platform emphatically states that “abortion is not healthcare, it is homicide.” And it’s becoming glaringly obvious that these politicians are not afraid of going to extreme lengths to enforce this ideology.

According to The Guardian, the Texas GOP’s proposals also call for “legislation to abolish abortion by immediately securing the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all preborn children from the moment of fertilisation.”

While mainstream pro-life activists typically don’t endorse the concept of punishing people who seek out abortions, more hard-line conservatives have indicated that if abortion is homicide, the patient who seeks out that treatment should then be punished accordingly.

The 2024 platform also proposed introducing legislation that would solidify foetal personhood ideology into law and criminalise in vitro fertilisation, as reported by HuffPost.

The 50-page document also included a barrage of other far-right ideas that represent a growing movement of Christian Nationalism within Texas. These included notions such as proclaiming that gender-affirming care is “child abuse,” requirements that Christianity and the Bible be taught in public schools, and emphasising that Texas “retains the right to secede from the United States.”

Texas is one of the most restrictive states in the US when it comes to abortion. In 2021, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 8, a law that bans abortion as early as six weeks in pregnancy. Moreover, the bill, more commonly referred to as the Texas Heartbeat Act, also authorised members of the public to sue anyone who performs or facilitates an illegal abortion for a minimum of $10,000.

Speaking about the highly controversial 2024 party platform, Farah Diaz-Tello, senior counsel and legal director at Lawyering for Reproductive Justice: If/When/How, told HuffPost “If a foetus is considered a person, then it’s considered a child, which is a vulnerable population. … Homicide of identified vulnerable persons escalates penalties.”

The expert continued: “I wish I could say that the idea of the death penalty is a jump, but it’s not. It’s actually the next logical step.” Indeed, the anti-abortion movement in Texas has been gaining a lot of traction since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

According to Newsweek, votes have been made and tallies regarding whether or not the party proposals will be adopted will be announced later this week.

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