A new bill being advanced in the Texas state Senate would require women to take a three-hour class on adoption before legally being allowed to have an abortion.
Senate Bill 42, filed by Texas State Sen. Eddie Lucio, an anti-abortion Democrat, would direct the state's Health and Human Services Commission to develop a three-hour course "regarding a pregnant woman's option to place her child for adoption." Women would be required to complete the course at least 24 hours before having an abortion. Lucio said the bill is intended to change women's minds about ending their pregnancies.
“It is my hope that, when presented with more information on adoption resources and services available, more pregnancies can be carried to term,” Lucio said in a statement.
Lucio was the only Senate Democrat who voted in favor of the sweeping abortion restrictions Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed into law this month, which prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and require abortion clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers. Opponents of the law say it is likely to shut down many or most of the abortion clinics in the state.
Texas also has laws requiring women to have an ultrasound, hear a description of the fetus and undergo counseling before getting an abortion.
Lucio said he does not expect his bill to pass in the current legislative special session, because it ended on Tuesday. But it has a chance of being brought up in the third special session that Perry announced this week.
“I am fully aware that this bill, filed on the last day of the second special legislative session, will not immediately pass; however, I intend to continue advocating adoption as an alternative," he said.