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April 13, 2021

Texas House to Consider Bill Giving Preborn Children Legal Representation in Court

photo credit: Jonathan Cutrer / Flickr
While Illinois politicians are considering the repeal of our state's parental notification law, the Texas House of Representatives will consider a bill that would give preborn children legal representation when a minor seeking an abortion attempts to get a judicial bypass.

Texas law requires that parents not only be notified of a minor's intent to have an abortion; but also that they give consent. Similar to Illinois's parental notification law, however, there is still a process for a judicial bypass. If the minor convinces a judge that it is in her best interest to have an abortion without her parents' knowledge, then she can bypass both the notification and consent requirements.

The existence of judicial bypasses increases the likelihood that a girl will return to an abusive living situation rather than seek help if she lives in an abusive household. Furthermore, it leaves the potential issues such as rape and sex trafficking that may have caused the pregnancy unsolved. All of that comes on top of the fact that an innocent unborn child is killed in the process.

Texas House Bill 1171 is unique in that it would give unborn children a voice during judicial bypass hearings. Texas Right to Life legislative associate Rebecca Parma told Spectrum News, “They don’t have a voice yet, and so their interest needs to be represented by someone who has a voice. 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.”

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