NRL News

PolitiFact admits “Texas’ criminal and civil abortion penalties do not apply to women who get abortions”

by | Feb 15, 2024

By Dave Andrusko

Whether it is a matter of design and/or ignorance, pro-abortionist love to portray pro-lifers as eager—VERY eager—to punish women who’ve aborted. Cynicism on steroids, you might say. 

But some are so caught up in demonizing pro-lifers they could talk themselves into believing their own rhetoric.

PolitiFact is not our friend. Enough said. But on occasion they take apart statements that would be easy to dismantle, if they chose to actually investigate.

Which take us to a February 11, 2024, Instagram post that declares “If a woman in Texas takes “abortion pills voluntarily,” she would be “charged with murder.” 

Jeff Cercone tells us upfront, “We rate the claim False” and patiently rolls out the evidence in support of his conclusion.

Cercone quotes Joanna Grossman, a Southern Methodist University law professor. “There are no laws in Texas that criminalize self-managed (or) (self-)induced abortion,” she said

The law “that criminalizes abortion specifically refers only to providers, she said. She added that Texas’ penal code provisions on assault and homicide ‘both expressly state that nothing a woman does to end her own pregnancy is a crime,’” Cercone writes. 

“There have been cases in which people have been wrongfully charged with crimes related to self-induced abortion,” Grossman told Cercone. “But that’s a problem with rogue prosecutors rather than a reflection of what the law provides.” 

Who does face charges under House Bill 1280 [the Human Life Protection Act] signed into law in June 2021 by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott which took effect two months after the Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade?

Cercone explains that “Under the August 2022 law, a Texas physician who provides an abortion could be charged with a first-degree felony, which is punishable by at least five and up to 99 years in prison, and up to a $10,000 fine.”

That’s about as clear as you can get.

One other piece of evidence:

Also in 2021, Texas enacted Senate Bill 8, known as the heartbeat bill, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. … The heartbeat law doesn’t include criminal penalties, but allows anyone to sue a person who provides, induces or aids and abets an abortion. 

Still, Senate Bill 8 does not apply to women who have abortions, only to providers or people who help women get abortions. “Under this law, you cannot sue someone who received an abortion,” The Texas State Law Library said on a frequently asked questions webpage.

“Our ruling,” Cercone writes, 

“We rate the claim False.”

Categories: State Legislation