Texas bill would give preborn children legal representation in court

20 weeks

A bill making its way through the Texas House would provide representation to preborn children when a minor seeking abortion goes to court to receive a judicial bypass. It is illegal for minors in Texas to undergo an abortion without parental consent; to do so, they must persuade a judge that they are mature and educated enough to make the decision on their own, or that it could be dangerous for their parents to know. House Bill 1171 would give preborn children a voice during those hearings.

Under the bill, the court could appoint “an attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem to represent an unborn child during a court proceeding authorizing a pregnant minor to consent to an abortion.” It is one of a recent slate of bills to further protection for the preborn in the already largely pro-life state.

Rebecca Parma, legislative associate for Texas Right to Life, said it’s important for preborn children to have representation. “They don’t have a voice yet, and so their interest needs to be represented by someone who has a voice,” she told Spectrum News. “If the pregnant minor is going to have an attorney ad litem, which should help represent her best interests, the unborn child needs to have that voice, as well, representing his or her best interests.”

READ: Multiple bills to protect preborn children continue to advance in Texas Senate

She also explained that girls in these situations need support and safety, not an opportunity to kill their preborn children in secret. “Those are horrific situations and really feel for women who are suffering under those and we want to support those women,” she said. “Abortion isn’t the answer. Abortion isn’t the option. And so keeping the bill without those exceptions, it was really important of telling women we support them and we’ll provide for them as a state, but also that we value pre-born life.”

While abortion advocates often claim that parental consent laws endanger teenage girls, the opposite is true. Far too often, sexual abusers are able to hide their crimes with the abortion industry serving as a willing accomplice. Removing parents from the equation only makes the chances of exploiting minors greater; a girl who is being abused or trafficked cannot rely on the help of abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood. If a parent knows that their daughter is pregnant, it can be exactly the warning sign they need to signify that there is potential abuse taking place — while abortion would merely cover it up.

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