The Texas Senate on Friday, July 16, almost unanimously approved a pro-life bill aimed at banning the marketing of abortion drugs through the mail. The bill will now move to the state House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass without difficulty, then become effective with the signature of Republican Governor Greg Abbott. 

During a special session of the Texas Legislature on Friday, the Senate passed SB4, which seeks “regulation of drug-induced abortion procedures.”  

SB4 proposes an amendment to current Texas abortion law, adding new ways to report abortion complications and changing the regulation of drug-induced abortions, their approval requirements and the prohibition on mailing them.

The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville). If passed, it would prohibit medications commonly used to induce abortions from being provided by mail or other delivery services. 

It would also require doctors to deliver the abortifacient drugs in person to the mother after conducting an examination and obtaining her voluntary and informed consent about the effects on her body, according to Lucio in an interview with the Texas Alliance for Life.

Among the tests to be performed on the mother, doctors will be required to check that she is no more than 49 days pregnant, among other actions, before administering an abortion-inducing medication.

The bill would also require a follow-up visit to be conducted no later than 14 days after the medication is administered to the patient. 

A section of the bill redefines terms related to this type of practice, such as “abortion-inducing drug,” “abortion complication,” and “medication abortion.” In this way, it is sought to avoid using word games to avoid violating the regulations intended to be imposed. 

It is made clear that any person, whether doctor or businessman who violates the bill, will be committing a punishable offense.

Lucio, who identifies himself as one of the few pro-life Democrats, condemns the idea that women who wish to have an abortion simply buy a drug online and ingest it without having any knowledge of how to administer it and its possible effects.

“It’s a life-saving piece of legislation that really should receive everyone’s support,” Lucio told Texas Alliance for Life. “I don’t see how we can not support the health of the woman by making sure she has professional medical help.”

Texas is considered one of the most pro-unborn life states in the United States. On Wednesday, May 19, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that bans abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which is approximately the sixth week of pregnancy. 

Other states have passed similar “heartbeat” laws, but the Texas law, unlike the others, emphasizes that it is not only the government that has the power to enforce the legislation since the bill empowers all citizens to report abortion providers or any accomplice who assists someone to have an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Although the abortion ban in Texas is not yet as total as pro-life sectors would like, it does prohibit abortion from a very early stage of pregnancy, which is a great step forward in defense of the life of the unborn.