August 6, 2013 — Texas Sen. Eddie Lucio (D) has proposed a measure that would require women to take a class on adoption 24 hours before obtaining an abortion, the AP/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports. Lucio was the only Democrat to vote in support of a recently enacted omnibus antiabortion-rights measure in the state.
The new measure would require state health officials to post the course on a website. The class would be offered at no cost and last no longer than three hours. Women would be required to bring proof of completion to a doctor at least 24 hours prior to undergoing an abortion.
Lucio said the bill would prevent abortions, adding, "We're not trying to hurt the mother, we're trying to help the unborn be born. I want to give them a chance to live."
According to the AP/Avalanche-Journal, Lucio's bill -- originally proposed in July -- is unlikely to be considered during the Legislature’s ongoing third special session. Gov. Rick Perry (R) has asked lawmakers to focus on a transportation-related measure. Lucio plans to re-file the bill in the 2015 session if it does not make it to the floor during the special session.
Two antiabortion-rights groups -- Texas Right to Life and the Texas Alliance for Life -- said they are not aware of similar laws in any other state. Elizabeth Graham, head of Texas Right to Life, expressed support for the bill, stating, "If we do want women to make fully informed decisions, then they should know all the options."
Meanwhile, Rory Hall, executive director of Adoption Advocates, said the classes likely would be ineffective because the information will not have a significant impact on the long, emotionally challenging decision to place a child up for adoption. She also said the law seems "punitive," noting that it was "another hoop for women to jump through when they face an unplanned pregnancy" (AP/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 8/4).