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Spare the Fetus, Execute the Physician

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Two Texas laws, a fetal protection law and a law requiring parental consent before unmarried minors receive abortions, can now be used to bring capital murder charges against physicians who perform abortions under certain circumstances. In other words, some abortions are now punishable by death in Texas. Texas doctors who perform abortions without parental approval or after the third trimester could face capital murder charges because of a new law that takes effect this week, a prosecutors group says. The Texas District and County Attorneys Association has outlined that scenario in its new book updating the Texas penal code and in public presentations around the state. The group says such charges could occur under the new law because of the 2003 fetal protection law. Interviews with the Republican sponsors of these bills show two things: (1) that either this legal result is not intentional or, at least, no one...


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