Well, we all know that actions have consequences. And District Attorneys are the ones we have charged with initiating prosecution of people who break the law. However, I think we’re seeing headline-seeking more than we’re seeing true concern on the part of these lawyers. And . . . there could be a secondary agenda of some “pro-choice” activists.
In 2003, Texas passed the Prenatal Protection Act which, like the Federal law nicknamed “Lacy and Connor’s Law,” enabled the prosecution of anyone who kills a child due to an “unlawful” act. Abusive husbands and drunk drivers can now be tried for the death of unborn children. The law specifically excluded any acts of the mother or any medical professional she hired. (I know, it still allows abortion and the destruction of embryos in in vitro fertilization clinics, but it was a small step forward.)
A benefit of that law was the definition of a human “individual” as beginning at fertilization.
In 2005, we passed a new Medical Code that included several restrictions on those doctors who perform abortion. The doctors now have a requirement to get parental consent or a court order before performing abortions on minors and all abortions done after the 16th week must be done in a facility that is equiped like an ambulatory surgical center and there are stronger prohibitions on abortions in the 3rd trimester.
For a while now, some of the lawyers in Texas have been saying that , because the combination of the existing homicide laws and the Prenatal Protection Act includes the possiblity of the death penalty for those convicted of killing an unborn child with the newer illegality of performing an abortion on a minor without parental consent, that doctors are now at risk of the death penalty.
The whole idea is an exageration of the scope of the laws. And, to affirm that the docs are not really in danger of the death penalty when and if they perform an illegal abortion, Representative Swinford, the Republican Chair of the House State Affairs Committee has officially asked State Attorney General Abbott to give a ruling on the interpretation of the law.
(of course, if the doc kills a child any time after he or she has a birth certificate, he could be at risk of the death penalty, too.)