Landgraf seeks stronger punishment for assaults on pregnant women

AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) filed legislation making it a felony to assault a pregnant woman in Texas.

House Bill 902, authored by Landgraf, makes it a third degree felony for assaulting a pregnant woman if the actor knew or should have known the woman was pregnant at the time of the assault. A third degree felony is punishable by between two and ten years in prison.

"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.

Currently, the assault of a pregnant woman is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail. However, there have been several instances where the assault itself warranted an increased penalty, or where a longer sentence could have prevented additional assaults. HB 902 seeks to ensure that the punishment fits the crime by increasing the penalty for knowingly assaulting a pregnant woman.

"I want to make sure we protect both the pregnant mother and her child, as well as creating a greater deterrent for assaults of this kind," Landgraf added.

The 86th Texas legislative session is underway and will run through May 27, 2019.