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State Rep. Bryan Slaton, member of the Texas House of Representatives, introduced the bill in March 2021, not May 2022.
That bill stipulated that it would criminalize abortion as homicide, which is punishable by death. The bill did not make it out of the committee process.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Slaton has said that he plans to reintroduce the bill in the next legislative session.
Social media users set off the alarm bells after seeing a news report that women in Texas could be in jeopardy of the death penalty for having an abortion.
"GOP Texas lawmaker introduces bill to allow death penalty for women who have abortions," read a screenshot of the headline.
An Instagram user posted the screenshot on May 7, 2022, with an added message: "When you’re so pro-life that you’re pro-death." The screenshot was also shared on Twitter. The headline began circulating after a Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked May 3, 2022. When the court released its official decision June 24, it ended the federal right to seek legal abortion, leaving regulation to the states.
The Instagram post was flagged by Facebook, as part of their efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The headline is real, but it’s from a 2021 article. The underlying Texas bill died in a legislative committee.
The headline comes from a March 9, 2021, report in The Hill about Texas Rep. Bryan Slaton’s bill, HB 3326. That bill would have criminalized abortion as homicide, a crime that can be punishable by death.
"The bill will end the discriminatory practice of terminating the life of innocent children, and will guarantee the equal protection of the laws to all Texans, no matter how small," Slaton said on Twitter March 9, 2021.
HB 3326 moved to the House Committee on Public Health on March 22, 2021, but did not progress past that point. Following the release of the Supreme Court’s official ruling June 24, 2022, Slaton pledged that he would reintroduce the bill. But he hasn’t done it yet. The next legislative session in Texas will begin in January 2023.
In May 2022, social media posts shared a screenshot of a headline that said a Texas GOP lawmaker introduced a bill that would criminalize abortion through the possibility of the death penalty.
That headline was true at the time, though the story was published in March 2021, not this year. The bill did not get out of committee last year.
The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information. We rate it claim Mostly True.
Archived Instagram post, May 7, 2022
Archived Twitter post, May 8, 2022
The Hill, GOP Texas lawmaker introduces bill to allow death penalty for women who have abortions, March 9, 2021
Introduced version of 87(R) HB 3326, accessed June 27, 2022
Bryan Slaton, archived Twitter post, March 9, 2021
Texas Legislature Online History, Bill HB 3326, last updated on March 22, 2021
Bryan Slaton Twitter post, June 24, 2022
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