The bill would amend the Health and Safety Code as it relates to drug-induced abortion procedures. Under the provisions of the bill, a person would commit a state jail felony if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violated the abortion-inducing drugs subchapter as outlined in the bill. Under existing statute, violating physician abortion reporting requirements is a Class A misdemeanor and knowingly performing a partial-birth abortion or intentionally performing a dismemberment abortion unless in a medical emergency is punishable as a state jail felony.
A state jail felony is punishable by confinement in a state jail for a term from 180 days to 2 years and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $10,000 or Class A misdemeanor punishment. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by confinement in county jail for a term not to exceed one year and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $4,000.
Creating a new offense or increasing a criminal penalty is expected to result in additional demands upon the correctional resources of counties or of the State due to an increase in the number of individuals placed onto supervision in the community or sentenced to a term of confinement within state correctional institutions. Complete data are not available to identify the number of people who provide an abortion-inducing drug to a pregnant woman or physicians who provide an abortion-inducing drug and fail to comply with applicable reporting requirements, as outlined in the bill. From fiscal years 2018 through 2020, fewer than ten people were arrested, placed onto felony direct community supervision, or admitted into a state correctional institution for performing a partial-birth abortion, dismemberment abortion, or violating physician abortion reporting requirements as outlined in existing statute. This analysis assumes the provisions of the bill addressing felony sanctions would not result in a significant impact on state correctional populations or on the demand for state correctional resources.