AUSTIN, Texas — State Representative Brooks Landgraf's (R-Odessa) legislation aimed at making it a felony to assault a pregnant woman in Texas was signed in to law by Governor Greg Abbott on Monday.
House Bill 902, authored by Landgraf, makes it a third degree felony for assaulting a pregnant woman if the actor knew the woman was pregnant at the time of the assault. A third degree felony is punishable by between two and ten years in prison.
"I want to make sure we create a greater deterrent for assaults of this kind and protect both the pregnant mother and her child," Landgraf said. “In my view, this new law reflects the fact that this heinous act is a crime against both the mother and her unborn child."
Currently, the assault of a pregnant woman is treated like any other assault, as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail. HB 902 seeks to ensure that the punishment fits the crime by increasing the penalty for knowingly assaulting a pregnant woman.
"I appreciate the Governor signing this pro-life bill that helps protect women from violence," Landgraf added.
The new law will take effect September 1, 2019.