Republican Congressman calls for criminalisation of abortion to 'force women to be more responsible'

'Right now, they don’t make it important to be personally responsible because they know that they have a backup of- oh, I can just go get an abortion' 

Click to follow
The Independent US

A Republican politician has called for abortion to become a crime in the US, arguing that to do so would force women to be “more personally responsible” about sex.

Tony Tinderholt, who represents Texas, has introduced a bill to the House titled “Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act”. The bill seeks to make it a criminal offence to have an abortion in the state at any stage, regardless of whether a woman has conceived following rape or incest. 

Mr Tinderholt told the Texas Observer, that he supported such a move as it would “force” women to be “more personally responsible” with sex. He explained: “Right now, it’s real easy. Right now, they don’t make it important to be personally responsible because they know that they have a backup of ‘oh, I can just go get an abortion.’ 

“Now, we both know that consenting adults don’t always think smartly sometimes. But consenting adults need to also consider the repercussions of the sexual relationship that they’re gonna have, which is a child.”  

If successful, Mr Tinderholt’s law would mean that women who have an abortion could be charged with murder until Texas state’s penal code.

Texas already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, due the state’s conservative Christian culture. In 2011, new legislation was put in place requiring women to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before she has an abortion, requiring at least two trips to a clinic.

The Republican Party has taken a number of steps in the last few weeks to tighten abortion laws further in the US. House Republicans voted in favour of permanently banning federal funding for abortions. This has routinely been put in place every year since 1976 through a clause inserted to the annual funding bill, known as the Hyde Amendment. However,  Republican politicians voted to make it a permanent law, rather than an annually inserted amendent.

One of Donald Trump’s first acts upon assuming office was to reinstate a ban on international aid organisations receiving any funding from the US if they give information about terminations to women or girls. Known as the Mexico City Policy, or Global Gag Rule, it is routinely put in place by Republican presidents, before being repealed by Democratic ones. It was last reinstated by George W Bush, and was subsequently removed by Barrack Obama.