Social media users have shared a screenshot in May 2022 of a headline which says a Texas Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill to allow the death penalty for women who have abortions. The screenshot does not include the date when the headline was published. The headline is not recent, however, and actually dates to March 2021.
The headline shared on social media reads: “STATE WATCH GOP Texas lawmaker introduces bill to allow death penalty for women who have abortions” ( here ).
There is no date on the screenshot circulating online, with many users mistakenly thinking that the introduction of the bill followed a leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion striking down the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion ( here ).
One user who shared the headline on Twitter on May 8, 2022, said: “Because we're Pro-life,... we favor death for women who have abortions” ( here ) ( archive.ph/jiEHu ).
Another tweet had more than 4,000 likes at the time of writing ( archive.ph/uXA05 ).
One user commented: “This is getting out of control and Roe v. Wade hasn't been repealed yet. There is going to be a lot of chaos and heartache when this happens and the trigger laws are released by the other states” ( here ).
Another said: “Wow, it just keeps getting worse” ( here ).
Other examples of the headline can be seen ( here ), ( here ) and ( here ).
The screenshot of the headline circulating online was from an article published in The Hill on March 9, 2021, however ( here ).
The bill (HB 3326) was first introduced to the Texas Senate in March 2021 by Republican Bryan Slaton. The bill was then referred to the Public Health Committee on March 22, 2021. However, the bill has not progressed since its introduction to committee stage ( here ).
The bill can be viewed in full ( here ).
A Republican Party of Texas (RPT) 87th legislative assessment report cites HB 3326 “died in Committee, no hearing” ( rptsrec.com/lege87/hd/HD91.pdf ) – meaning it did not progress.
Newspaper The Texas Tribune reported on the bill in March 2021 and was referenced by The Hill. It added an editor’s note to the March 2021 article that reads: “This is an older story that was published on March 9, 2021. The legislation mentioned in this story did not pass the Texas Legislature. Abortion is legal in Texas as of May 9, 2022, but it is heavily restricted. Texas abortion law currently bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy” ( here ).
The Chair and Vice Chair of the Public Health Committee at the Texas House of Representatives, Rep. Stephanie Klick and Rep. Bobby Guerra did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment.
Misleading. The headline of an article on an anti-abortion bill was published in March 2021, not May 2022, and the bill did not progress any further through the legislative process in the Texas State Legislature.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.
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