Press Statement on Infanticide Bill

Free Market Foundation

See Texas Republic News story here

April 30, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas – A bill that would reduce the crime of infanticide from capital murder to a state jail felony is nearing a vote by the full Texas House of Representatives.  HB 3318, filed by Jessica Farrar (D-Houston), is now eligible to be scheduled on the House calendar for a vote by all 150 Texas House members, since it was recently passed by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.  The decision could come at any time.

“We already have incomplete protection for unborn children, and the assault, under this bill, will now extend to babies once they’re born by giving them less protection,” said Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs at Free Market Foundation, who testified against the bill.  “We strongly oppose this bill and urge the Texas House leadership, both Republican and Democrat, to publicly condemn this outrageous legislation and stop it in its tracks.”

Current law states that if a child under the age of six is murdered, it is capital murder.  HB 3318 would reduce the crime of murder against a child the age of birth-12 months to only a state jail felony with a minimum punishment of 180 days to a maximum of 2 years, if the murder committed by the child’s mother is attributed to “impaired (judgment) as a result of the effects of giving birth or the effects of lactation following the birth.”

Texas would be the first state in the United States to have such a law.

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