After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the summer of 2022, a “trigger” law banning almost all abortions in Texas went into effect. Currently, Texas allows abortion only in the case of a life-threatening medical emergency for the patient. But that hasn’t stopped GOP lawmakers in the state from proposing further restrictions.
Friday marked the end of the Eighty-eighth Legislative Session’s filing period, during which lawmakers could propose bills for debate in the once-every-two-years convening of the body. Republican lawmakers have introduced bills in the House and Senate that would restrict abortion in eighteen different ways. Some of these bills appear unlikely to advance, filed by lawmakers without much sway in the Capitol. Others, which would also affect issues identified as priorities by state leaders, are more likely to become law.
Most of the bills focus on a few specific areas:
- Financially punishing businesses that have promised to cover employees’ out-of-state abortion–related expenses
- Punishing abortion funds that help Texans seeking abortions in other states pay for travel, lodging, and medical bills
- Creating alternative routes for prosecution in counties where district attorneys have pledged not to charge abortion providers
Other bills would open the door to broader and more creative restrictions:
- Finding ways to prevent Texans from even attempting to seek mail-order abortion pills
- Invoking the possibility of the death penalty for patients who obtain abortions or emergency contraception
- Restricting emergency contraception in addition to abortion
Several bills not considered in this list of restrictions were introduced shortly before the filing deadline. These would expand the state’s “alternative to abortion” program, which offers certain services to pregnant Texans—a priority of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and a promise of many GOP lawmakers after the Supreme Court overturned Roe.
To track all of these bills, we’ve organized them by issue, and will be following their progress through the legislative session. We’ve also tried to handicap those that appear to be on track toward passage, those whose chances are uncertain, and those that appear unlikely to advance. Our assessments are based on factors such as the number of cosponsors a bill has, the overlap it shares with other legislative priorities, the legislative effectiveness of its author, and the challenges or support it may attract from influential lobbying organizations. These assessments are rough, and during the course of the session, bills’ likelihood of passage may change. The actions of the Legislature are hard to predict. It’s not uncommon for a bill that appears to be dead to find renewed support, or for a bill that seems to be on the fast track to passage to run into unexpected obstacles that narrow its path.
Table of Contents:
- Proposals to Tighten the Current Abortion Ban
- Proposals Targeting Businesses That Help Employees Access Abortions
- Proposals Targeting Democratic Cities and District Attorneys
- Proposals Targeting Abortion Funds and Companies That Provide Access to Them
- Proposals Restricting Emergency Contraception
- Other Proposals
Proposals to Tighten the Current Abortion Ban
Adding Charter Schools to the List of Entities Banned from Doing Business With Abortion Providers
Bill and Author: SB 959, Donna Campbell, New Braunfels
What It Does: A tidy 160-word bill, Campbell’s legislation would amend a section of the state government code that prohibits various state entities from doing business with abortion providers, and would add charter schools to that list alongside cities, counties, school districts, and state agencies. This is more of a housekeeping bill than a change in policy—and speaks to the increased role that legislators such as Campbell envision for charter schools in Texas’s future.
Current Status: The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on State Affairs.
Prospects for Passing: Campbell is a fairly effective legislator, and the bill’s narrow scope could bode well for its prospects.
Explicitly Banning Transgender and Nonbinary Texans from Getting Abortions
Bill and Author: HB 3850, Bryan Slaton, Royse City
What It Does: Most existing abortion regulations in Texas, and most additional restrictions proposed by Republicans in this session, refer to “women.” (Bills introduced in this session by Democrats usually use gender-neutral language such as “persons” or “patients.”) In certain cases, such as when a transgender man or a nonbinary Texan seeks an abortion, those state residents could potentially argue that a provision referring to “women” doesn’t apply to them. Rather than amend language in these laws, HB 3850 would clarify that “a statute that regulates or prohibits abortion may not be construed to permit the performance or inducement of an abortion on a pregnant biological female who does not identify as a woman or female.”
Current Status: The bill was introduced on March 7 and has yet to be referred to committee.
Prospects for Passing: Slaton is widely regarded as a legislative troll. He has frequently alienated members of his party. But if any bill of his on abortion has a chance of advancing, it’s this one: it’s narrowly targeted, offers clarification rather than broad changes, and affects transgender Texans, which is a group that even many Republicans who are not eager to work with Slaton are eager to target.
Ending the Practice of Allowing Judges to Provide Consent for a Minor’s Abortion Instead of a Parent
Bill and Author: HB 2538, Terri Leo-Wilson, Galveston
What It Does: Prior to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Texas law allowed patients younger than eighteen to receive abortion care with the consent of a parent; if their health was in immediate jeopardy from the pregnancy; if they were legally emancipated; or with the authorization of a judge instead of a parent—a practice known as judicial bypass.
While almost all abortions are now illegal in Texas, the state’s family code still has language that refers to judicial authorization of abortion for minors. HB 2538 strikes those parts of the family code, which would mean that—should abortion someday become legal in Texas again—minors would once more need parental approval to undergo the procedure, in most cases.
Current Status: The bill was filed in February but has not yet been referred to a committee.
Prospects for Passing: Anything’s possible, but it isn’t clear why the Lege would make a priority of a bill to end a practice that is already banned by other laws.
Creating Criminal Penalties for Doctors Who Self-Prescribe Abortion Pills
Bill and Author: HB 2764, Bryan Slaton, Royse City
What It Does: Some abortion bills in the legislature are sweeping in their scope; others are broader than their authors may have perhaps intended when they introduced them. Then there is HB 2764, which is decidedly more niche: the only Texans who would be affected, should this bill become law, are doctors who, when pregnant, prescribe themselves abortion pills. Currently, Texas law prevents the patient who seeks the abortion from being charged with a crime. Slaton’s bill would carve out the extremely narrow exception of allowing patients to be charged if they prescribed the treatment themselves.
Current Status: The bill was filed in late February but has not yet been referred to a committee.
Prospects for Passing: It does not seem to be a priority.
Treating Every Fertilized Embryo as a Person in the Criminal Code
Bill and Author: HB 2709, Bryan Slaton, Royse City
What It Does: Current Texas abortion law—and almost every bill that’s been introduced in this session—makes a distinction between abortion providers and the patient seeking the abortion when it comes to who faces fines or criminal penalties. HB 2709, however, would eliminate that distinction. The bill would treat an embryo at every stage of development (more below) the same as it treats a child outside the womb—which means that taking an abortion pill, or providing one to a pregnant patient, would be treated as capital murder, punishable with the death penalty.
HB 2709 would also change language in the criminal code that defines “individuals” to include unborn children starting from “development” rather than from “gestation.” Medically speaking, gestation begins when the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus, which usually begins around five days after fertilization; “development” is a less specific term that a prosecutor could argue begins the moment that an egg is fertilized, which happens in just hours. That means taking, prescribing, or dispensing emergency contraception such as Plan B could also, under Texas law, be considered a capital crime for which anyone involved could be executed.
Current Status: The bill was introduced in February and has yet to be referred to a committee.
Prospects for Passing: Unlikely. Slaton has little support even among other members of his party, and Abbott has recommended Plan B to Texans as an alternative to abortion, as recently as last September. While Abbott is famous for his political flexibility, it would be quite an about-face for him to sign a bill that would allow Texans to be executed for taking his advice.
Proposals Targeting Businesses That Help Employees Access Abortions
Ending Tax Deductions for Businesses That Fund Abortion-Related Travel
Bills and Authors: HB 1280, Tom Oliverson, Cypress; SB 953, Charles Perry, Lubbock
What It Does: When Roe v. Wade fell, many businesses that operate in Texas made promises to concerned employees that, in the event that those employees needed abortion care, their employer would cover travel costs and other expenses. These included Bumble, Citibank, Levi Strauss, Match, Tesla, and many others. HB 1280 and its Senate companion bill, SB 953, would amend the state tax code to prevent any taxable entity—primarily businesses—from deducting any of the costs of the health care benefits it provides to employees (as currently allowed) if it offers a health plan that “facilitate[s] access to abortion, including travel vouchers,” or if it provides paid leave to employees to seek or recover from an abortion.
Current Status: Both bills have been referred to the appropriate committee in each chamber.
Prospects for Passing: Possible, but not probable. Oliverson is generally regarded as a serious member of his party’s caucus. (He made Texas Monthly’s list of the best legislators in 2019.) Perry? Not so much. (He’s a perennial fixture on our “worst” list, and his agenda has been hampered by his ineffectiveness). This bill is likely to be opposed by a large part of the business community it targets, which would like to be able to retain Texas-based talent that may be concerned about the state’s strict abortion laws. Similar business opposition helped kill Dan Patrick’s “bathroom bill” in the 2017 session, but it’s unclear how much influence that community wields in the Lege these days.
Banning Companies That Fund Abortion-Related Travel From Receiving State Tax Incentives
Bill and Author: HB 787, Jared Patterson, Frisco; SB 511, Bob Hall, Edgewood
What It Does: These bills target employers who offer to cover abortion-related travel expenses and similar benefits, but through a different mechanism than the bills cited above: by withholding state tax incentives businesses have received to operate here. Those incentives have helped Texas attract businesses such as Samsung and Tesla, as well as dozens of oil refineries and petrochemical companies. (While the largest program that offered these incentives expired on December 31, creating and funding a replacement program has been a high priority for state leaders.)
SB 511 would also withhold grant funding from businesses that fund abortion-related travel. It would prevent state grant funding from going to any event organized by a committee, city, or county that “assists, refers, or otherwise encourages a woman to obtain an abortion,” and does the same for small businesses and other potential grant recipients.
Current Status: Both bills have been referred to the appropriate committees.
Prospects for Passing: Possible, but not probable. If the legislature does decide to punish companies that pay abortion-related expenses for employees, a measure that would restrict their access to tax incentives is one of the more likely ways it might do so. That said, the target companies are a large driver of the “Texas Miracle” that Abbott and Patrick and their party like to brag about. Such companies are likely to oppose the bill. At least some Republican officials understand that if these bills passed, they would (a) make it much harder to attract new companies and new employees to Texas, and (b) might trigger an exodus of skilled workers and even of large employers.
Allowing Any Shareholder to Take Action for Breach of Fiduciary Responsibility Against Leadership of a Company That Pays for Abortion-Related Travel
Bill and Author: HB 2813, Tony Tinderholt, Arlington
What It Does: HB 2813 offers a third mechanism to effectively prevent businesses from covering employees’ travel costs for abortions. The bill would declare not funding an employee’s abortion-related care to be a fiduciary responsibility of the company’s leadership, and would allow any shareholder to take action for breach of that duty, opening those leaders to lawsuits or other consequences.
Current Status: The bill was filed in late February but has yet to be referred to a committee.
Prospects for Passing: As with other bills that are still awaiting a committee referral, HB 2813 is less likely to pass than the ones that have. If it proceeds, it will be opposed by a business community made up of companies that need to retain skilled employees that might otherwise pursue jobs in other states.
Proposals That Would Target Democratic Cities and District Attorneys
Preventing Any Entity With Access to Public Funds From Paying for Abortion-Related Costs
Bill and Author: HB 61, Candy Noble, Lucas, and twelve cosponsors; SB 2378, Donna Campbell, New Braunfels; HB 5249, Stephanie Klick, Fort Worth
What It Does: In 2019, the city of Austin established its abortion access fund, a pool of money—around $130,000 a year—intended to help residents access abortion services they may not be able to afford on their own, in conjunction with local nonprofit abortion funds. HB 61 would end Austin’s program and prevent other municipalities from establishing similar programs by banning cities from paying for child care, travel costs, food, or lodging for anyone seeking an abortion out of state.
Donna Campbell’s SB 2378 and Stephanie Klick’s HB 5249 are similar in intent to HB 61, but differ in practice and scope. Both bills would also preclude Austin’s abortion access fund, or any similar program from any other government entity—state, county, or municipal—as well as public hospitals and universities, from providing abortion-related resources to residents. In a more substantial policy change with broader implications, the bills would also prevent public hospitals and universities, including medical schools, from providing training on how to perform abortions. (This would include training for both the abortions that are currently illegal in Texas, as well as training for those that are still legal, such as to save the life of a patient with severe pregnancy-related complications, as the procedure is the same in both cases.) Both bills outsource the enforcement of the law to private citizens, through a civil “bounty” program that allows individuals to sue violating individuals for $25,000 and entities for $50,000.
Current Status: HB 61 has been referred to the House State Affairs Committee. The other two were introduced in the final hours before the filing deadline and have not yet been referred to committees.
Prospects for Passing: HB 61 has thirteen cosponsors, which is a significant show of support. It also specifically slaps Austin on the wrist, which the Republican majority in the Lege always enjoys doing. If the Texas GOP wants to pass an abortion restriction that sends a message to antiabortion orgs that they’re still taking action, but that wouldn’t put them in conflict with the business community, HB 61 is a good opportunity to do that.
The prospects for SB 2378 and HB 5249 are more difficult to assess, given how close to the deadline they were filed. Neither bill has any cosponsors, but the filing of the two as companion bills makes them more serious prospects than many on this list. It’s possible that lawmakers who already support HB 61 would be interested in pursuing a law that would go further in who and what it restricts.
Creating a State Special Prosecutor for Abortions and Other Offenses
Bill and Author: HB 4026, Mike Schofield, Katy
What It Does: A group of five Texas district attorneys, all of them Democrats, signed a letter pledging not to enforce the state’s abortion laws after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Prosecutors normally enjoy wide discretion regarding which laws they emphasize for prosecution. This bill would limit their options by placing abortion-related offenses under the jurisdiction of a statewide special prosecutor, who wouldn’t be beholden to the local DA or the local electorate. That prosecutor would be appointed by the Texas Supreme Court—a highly partisan, GOP-controlled body—and would serve for four years. He or she would also prosecute a select number of other offenses, including violations of state election laws and marijuana possession in jurisdictions where voters have decriminalized the drug.
Current Status: The bill was introduced just days before the filing deadline and has not yet been referred to committee.
Prospects for Passing: Pretty good. Dan Patrick’s list of legislative priorities included “removing district attorneys who refuse to follow Texas law.” While this doesn’t remove DAs who exercise prosecutorial discretion from office, it does remove from their jurisdiction several of the kinds of cases the lieutenant governor probably had in mind. While the Lege may choose to pursue this priority through another means, this bill is a plausible avenue to do so.
Proposals That Target Abortion Funds And the Companies That Provide Access to Them
Creating a “Bounty” System for Suing Credit Card Processors
Bill and Author: SB 1440, Drew Springer, Muenster
What It Does: One of the legislative innovations that Texas has pioneered came in the 2021 session’s SB 8, a law that circumvented the constitutional protections of abortion rights that were then in place by outsourcing enforcement of the law to civil courts. Under the law, instead of facing criminal liability for breaking the law, those who performed or aided abortions were made subject to lawsuits from private citizens, who were granted standing to sue for damages of no less than $10,000 per suit. When the U.S. Supreme Court declined to put a stop to the law through its so-called “shadow docket,” other states tried to pass bills with similar enforcement mechanisms, on abortion as well as on other issues. California tried to pick up what Texas put down by pursuing a similar law to enact gun control legislation that would otherwise be outlawed by the Second Amendment, but that law was struck down by a federal judge in December.
In an escalation of that legislative arms race, SB 1440 would create both criminal penalties and a similar “bounty” system that would allow any private citizen to sue a company that processes credit card transactions for abortion pills in Texas. While this would be difficult to prove—neither the state nor private individuals have access to the details of those transactions—it could nonetheless have a chilling effect on the willingness of credit card companies to process these transactions, in Texas and potentially in other states.
Current Status: The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee.
Prospects for Passing: If the Lege develops an appetite for increasingly complex abortion restrictions, it’s possible. But this isn’t the lowest-hanging fruit out there, so if abortion remains relatively low on the to-do list—it wasn’t on Dan Patrick’s list of legislative priorities—this probably won’t be the first one to make it through.
Requiring Internet Providers to Block Access to Abortion-Related Material Online and Targeting Abortion Funds
Bill and Author: HB 2690, Steve Toth, The Woodlands
What It Does: At forty pages long, HB 2690 is a tome. The legislation attempts to censor content on the internet in a variety of ways that, all together, could effectively end Texans’ ability to access abortion-related information (unless they use VPNs to get around restrictions). It does this primarily by imposing penalties on internet service providers if they fail to block access to certain abortion-related sites. The bill specifically identifies six pages that distribute pills used in medication abortions to be blocked. It also targets any website affiliated with an abortion fund or abortion provider, any site intended to “assist or facilitate efforts to obtain” an abortion, and any website that allows abortion providers or abortion funds to collect money or “any other things of value.”
This last group of websites is quite extensive. Many allow abortion providers and abortion funds to collect money and “other things of value.” PayPal, Venmo, and other money-transfer sites all allow that; so does the website of any bank that allows for direct transfers between member and nonmember accounts; so does every cryptocurrency exchange. Will those services need to ban abortion providers and funds entirely for Texans to continue to have access to them under Toth’s bill? Potentially, yes.
There’s more. Toth’s bill would also make it a felony for any Texan to pay, in full or in part, for any portion of the cost of an abortion, even if that abortion takes place in a state in which the procedure is legal. This would apply to, say, a Texan who sends $20 in cash to a relative who lives in California who is trying to pay for abortion pills from a pharmacy in the Golden State. It would also apply to a Texas-based abortion fund that provides travel costs to Texans who must leave the state. And it would also apply to an employer who offers reimbursement for abortion-related expenses to employees.
There’s even more. The bill grants the Texas attorney general the power to prosecute anyone in violation of the law if a local prosecutor declines to take the case. Under certain circumstances, it also allows any Texan to sue a variety of individuals and companies—from ISPs to state judges who order injunctions against certain provisions of the bill, should it become law—for $100,000 or more.
In total, HB 2690 would make sweeping changes to regulation of the internet in Texas. It would limit what websites Texans are allowed to visit. It would effectively challenge financial service companies to either comply with laws that only apply in Texas—and which may offend their employees in other states—or to deny Texans the ability to use those services, in an escalating game of chicken.
Current Status: The bill was filed in late February, but has yet to be referred to committee.
Prospects for Passing: The fact that the bill’s gone several weeks without being referred to a committee doesn’t bode well for its chances. If it proceeds through the legislative process, we would expect the business community to raise serious misgivings about the scope of the bill. Cooler heads in the state GOP might not want that headache, especially when they consider that even today’s highly partisan federal courts are likely to find that the bill violates protections for free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the commerce clause’s strict limitations on what states can do to regulate interstate commerce.
Proposals That Restrict Emergency Contraception
Preventing State Health Care Funds From Paying for Plan B
Bill and Author: HB 2765, Bryan Slaton, Royse City
What It Does: HB 2765 would add references to emergency contraception to the section of the Texas government code that prevents taxpayer money (from state or local sources) from being used to pay for abortion care.
Current Status: The bill was filed in February and hasn’t been referred to a committee.
Prospects for Passing: There doesn’t seem to be much appetite for enacting new restrictions on emergency contraception at the moment—Greg Abbott seemed to endorse the use of the“Plan B” pill last fall—and Slaton is held in low regard by many of his colleagues, so this one is unlikely to advance.
Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse to Dispense Plan B or Pills That Can Cause Abortions
Bill and Author: SB 300, Bob Hall, Edgewood
What It Does: This bill creates exceptions for pharmacists to decline to dispense emergency contraceptives. The bill is an indication that birth control could be in the Lege’s crosshairs—whether in this session or a future one.
Current Status: SB 300 has been referred to the Senate Committee on State Affairs.
Prospects for Passing: If limiting access to emergency contraception gets debated this session, SB 300—which can be framed as empowering pharmacists, rather than restricting patients—is a more likely avenue for that part of the agenda than other bills. That said, it does not seem to be a legislative priority.
Allowing Health Care Professionals to Opt Out of Providing Abortion-Related Care
Bill and Author: HB 319, Tom Oliverson, Cypress
What It Does: This bill would make it illegal to strip the licenses or certification of health care professionals who, for reasons of conscience—defined by the bill as either “a belief in and relation to God,” “a religious faith or spiritual practice,” or “a moral philosophy or ethical position”—decline to participate in a health care procedure or service.
The bill would also ban employers from denying those workers employment, promotions, or privileges, and from asking during the hiring process about potential conscience exceptions the employee may claim. Further, the legislation would prohibit rules requiring that the employee refer the patient to a professional who has no such conscientious objection. The bill would require that each health care facility, lab, or pharmacy in Texas create a written policy that employees who wish to invoke the conscience exception created by HB 319 can cite.
Abortion-related care for patients who fall within the already narrow circumstances under which the law currently allows the procedure (and who have doctors who are willing to perform the procedure or prescribe abortion pills despite potential legal risks) is identified directly in the bill. But it’s not the only procedure or service that a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, lab technician, or other professional could decline to participate in if their conscience won’t allow it. Any procedure or service that violates their conscience can qualify, as long as it is not emergency or life-sustaining treatment (which are also defined within the bill). That includes contraceptives that providers may not wish to prescribe or dispense and gender-affirming care for transgender Texans, to the extent to which such care remains legal. But the bill is broad enough that, say, a dental hygienist who held the belief that God intends that our bodies should decay without intervention could keep his or her job even if he or she refused to clean anyone’s teeth.
Current Status: Referred to the House Public Health Committee.
Prospects for Passing: This is the sort of bill that Republican legislators like to pass, as it appeals to constituents who hold to a certain conception of “religious freedom,” as well as to opponents of abortion and gender-affirming care. But given the bill could have wide-ranging consequences beyond those which its author intended, it’s possible that this one dies in committee or gets substantially changed.
Preventing Texans From Claiming Religious Exceptions to Abortion Law
Bill and Author: HB 3738, Briscoe Cain, Deer Park
What It Does: Last June in Florida, a Jewish synagogue sued the state over its fifteen-week abortion ban, arguing that the restriction infringed on its members’ right to practice their faith. Jewish teachings, they said, state that abortion “is required if necessary to protect the health, mental or physical well-being of the woman.” Later that fall, in Kentucky, a group of Jewish women filed a similar suit challenging that state’s abortion ban on similar grounds, arguing that “Judaism has never defined life as beginning at conception,” and that the state’s law enforced a Christian understanding of life on women whose faith tradition runs contrary. A similar suit brought in Indiana resulted in a preliminary injunction against that state’s abortion ban. (In Texas, the Satanic Temple also filed a suit in 2021 arguing that the state’s bans violated the liberty of its members, for whom abortion is a ritual practice.)
HB 3738 would attempt to preempt such challenges by amending Texas’s Civil Practices and Remedies Code to add to the section about “religious freedom” that abortion is exempt from that section of the state law. In the event that the bill were to pass, it would still be possible to sue the state in federal court, but the “religious freedom” provisions in Texas state law offer a clearer path toward carving out religious exceptions to abortion bans.
Current Status: The bill was filed on March 6 and has yet to be referred to committee.
Prospects for Passing: It’s difficult to handicap HB 3738. The bill has no cosponsors, and the policy has not been singled out as a priority by legislative leaders. That said, it’s narrowly targeted and addresses an area of potential vulnerability within Texas’s abortion laws, so it could find support among lawmakers who consider it an important way to shore up the existing law.
Creating a $5 Million Bounty on Anyone Who Facilitates Distributing Abortion Pills
Bill and Author: HB 4876, Cole Hefner, Mt. Pleasant
What It Does: Filed just hours before the deadline, HB 4876 takes aim at abortion pills, creating a cause of action for anyone in the state to file a civil lawsuit for a minimum of $5 million against anyone, anywhere in the country, who is involved in distributing those pills in Texas. The bill would open up to liability anyone in Texas involved in “marketing, mailing, distribution, transportation, delivery, provision, or possession” of mifepristone, one of the two commonly prescribed abortion drugs, and the one with the fewest non-abortion uses. The law would do the same for misoprostol, which is used to treat a wider variety of more common conditions such as stomach ulcers, only when it is for the intent of abortion. The $5 million bounty is the largest we’ve seen in Texas for any such bill. (SB 8, the 2021 law that popularized “bounty” bills, set the damages floor at just $10,000.)
Who could be sued under Hefner’s legislation? An individual in another state who mails pills to a Texan, anyone who transports the pill (with exceptions for, say, FedEx drivers and mail carriers who don’t know what’s in the packages they’re delivering), and the manufacturer of the pills that were used, even if they aren’t based in Texas. In the event that the manufacturer of the specific pills used to induce the abortion can’t be identified, the bill would allow the damages to be collected from all manufacturers of mifepristone and misoprostol, apportioned according to their share of the U.S. market for such medicines.
If the bill became law, the financial risk that HB 4876 could create for any drug manufacturer that produces abortion pills could be so large as to potentially keep anyone from producing the drug at all, for fear that the pills may end up being mailed to someone in Texas.
Current Status: HB 4876 was filed shortly before the deadline and has not yet been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Prospects for Passing: It’s unclear if taking further action around mifepristone—which already can’t be prescribed in Texas for an abortion—is a priority this session, but this would be an extreme mechanism to do so. Also, like some other proposed abortion restrictions, it would be likely to face legal challenges as a violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, though the bounty enforcement mechanism makes it especially difficult to challenge.
Banning Foods and Other Products That Include Aborted Fetuses
Bill and Author: SB 314, Bob Hall, Edgewood
What It Does: SB 314 is one of the weirder bills filed in this session. It would require foods that include aborted fetuses to be labeled as such. There are no such foods. The bill would also affect any pharmaceuticals and cosmetics that contain aborted fetuses. There are no such products. (But some of the latter two categories were developed through research that involved the use of fetal cell lines.) We published a more detailed explanation of what’s going on with SB 314 here.
Current Status: SB 314 has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Prospects For Passing: Should the bill advance out of committee, there is likely to be a lot of resistance from pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies that oppose being forced to add a misleading label about their products because of research conducted years—maybe even decades—ago. That doesn’t mean it can’t become law, but it’s unlikely to be a high priority and will face major obstacles if it does move forward.