State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) on Thursday filed House Bill 3539, which would make it a third-degree felony to assault a pregnant woman in Texas. Current state law only classifies that crime as a Class A misdemeanor.
Landgraf filed the bill after a local prosecutor, Kortney Williams, asked for the law to be changed to provide a tool against someone who assaults a pregnant woman.
"This bill is a clear statement that when a pregnant woman is assaulted, both the mother and the unborn child are victims, and a more severe punishment for the attacker is justified,” Landgraf said.
Landgraf’s bill seeks to protect both the pregnant mother and her child, but also create a greater deterrent for assaults of this kind.
If Landgraf’s bill is passed by the Texas Legislature, the new law would take effect on September 1, 2017.