Texas lawmakers pre-file bills targeting abortion care

November 17, 2016 — Texas lawmakers on Monday pre-filed more than 400 bills for the 2017 legislative session, some of which target reproductive health care, the San Antonio Current reports.

The state's next session starts Jan. 10, 2017, but state lawmakers on Monday were allowed to start pre-filing legislation (Zielinski, San Antonio Current, 11/14).

State lawmakers target abortion care

Several bills filed so far target abortion care, according to the Houston Chronicle.

For example, one measure (HB 201), sponsored by state Rep. Byron Cook (R) would require health facilities in the state to bury or cremate fetal tissue that results from an abortion or miscarriage. The bill is similar to contentious rules proposed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in July. Abortion-rights supporters say the proposals represent the state's latest attempt to restrict access to the procedure (Fikac, Houston Chronicle, 11/14).

Another bill (HB 87) would prohibit abortion care after 20 weeks of pregnancy in instances of fetal anomalies. Current state law prohibits abortion care after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in instances of fetal anomalies or life endangerment (AP/CBS DFW, 11/14).

According to the Current, state lawmakers also proposed a measure (SJR 9) that aims to ban all abortion care by extending constitutional rights to fetuses (San Antonio Current, 11/14).

Separately, Rep. Donna Howard (D) filed a bill (HB 219) that would exempt certain feminine hygiene products from sales and use taxes (Houston Chronicle, 11/14).