87(R) - 2021
Senate State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
Health & Human Services
Relating to information regarding perinatal palliative care,
regulation of abortion, and the availability of certain defenses to
prosecution for homicide and assault offenses; providing an
administrative penalty; creating a criminal offense.
The fiscal implications of the bill cannot be determined at this time due to the inability to identify the impact
to all the state programs that would serve the unknown number of children, pregnant women, or families as a
result of implementation of this bill.
The Health and Human Services Commission is required to implement a provision of this Act only if the
legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the commission may, but is not required to, implement a provision of this Act
using other appropriations available for that purpose.
SB 1647 represents a combination of the Heartbeat bill and the the Preborn Nondiscrimination Act. SB 1647 requires the establishment of informational materials, services, and documentation surrounding perinatal palliative care including provider information and types of services. Doctors must provide this documentation and place it in the medical record of the woman seeking an abortion.
SB 1647 then restricts abortion providers, pregnant women, or anyone from coercing or performing a third-trimester abortion based on the unborn child's diagnosis with a disability. This removes a previous established late term abortion exemption for parents to abort their disabled baby. Third-term abortions are only allowed if the physician uses their best medical judgement to prevent the death or substantial risk of serious impairment to the physical or mental health of the woman. SB 1647 further restricts abortions from being performed when a fetal heartbeat is established. Physicians must now detect and record on the woman's medical record the probable gestational age of the unborn baby.
SB 1647 allows for many different forms of civil liability against physicians who break these rules, and evokes severability, which allows any portion of SB 1647 that is determined to be unconstitutional to be severed from the rest of the bill while the remaining portions would still be enforceable.
Vote Recommendation Notes
SB 1647 deals with what we view as a primarily social issue. Texas Action does not make vote recommendations on social issues. For this reason we remain neutral on SB 1647.