Thursday, July 13, 2006

Is abortion murder? Texas AG asked for legal opinion

Here comes our right-wing battle cry for November, folks. The bold emphasis is mine:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been asked to rule whether laws passed in 2003 and 2005 could subject doctors to capital murder charges for performing late-term abortions or abortions on minors without their parents' consent.

State Affairs Chairman David Swinford, R-Amarillo, asked for the opinion, citing an analysis by a state prosecutors group that said murder prosecutions of doctors could be an "unintended consequence" of the law changes it made.

Swinford said he disagrees with the interpretation by the Texas District and County Attorneys Association because there is no evidence that the Legislature intended such a result from changes it made to the law governing doctors' conduct last year. ...

Shannon Edmonds, director of governmental relations for the prosecutors' group, believes a doctor could be charged with capital murder for performing a restricted abortion. He said, however, that he has heard of no such prosecutions.

Edmonds discovered the problem when he was looking at new criminal offenses enacted during the 2005 regular session.

"We started connecting the dots and that's where we ended up," said Edmonds.

Go read the entire thing. And get ready for battle, because Greg Abbott is just as beholden to the religious fundamentalists as he is to the corporations, and he desperately needs the Jesus Freaks and John Birchers to turn out and vote for him in order to save his job.

This BS has national implications for women's reproductive freedoms as well. Let's nip this in the bud, right quick.

Update: Charles Kuffner and Vince Leibowitz -- as always -- have more, and better. The Dallas News has a better explanation of the laws passed in 2003 and 2005. And Charles, via Vince, has background on the TCDAA's confusion over the issue.

Update II: And don't miss the new blog detailing the malaprops of our ridiculous state Attorney General, Greg Abbott = Big Hypocrite.

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