GUEST VIEW: Protecting the unborn, their mothersState Rep. Brooks Landgraf was elected in 2014 to House District 81, which encompasses Andrews, Ector, Ward, and Winkler Counties.

Last week at the Texas Capitol, I proudly filed House Bill 3539, which is a measure that 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.
This bill is a good pro-life policy, but it’s also a way to help prosecutors fight violent crimes against women who are in a vulnerable condition.
A fellow Odessan, Kortney Williams, brought this idea to my attention last year. At that time, Korney was an assistant county attorney working for Ector County Attorney Dusty Gallivan. Now, Kortney is an assistant district attorney in Bobby Bland’s office.
In both positions, Kortney knows what a valuable and effective tool this increase in punishment can be in fighting these awful assaults against pregnant women, and that’s why she has urged me to file legislation to make the change.
As someone who is staunchly pro-life, I also like this bill because it is a clear statement that when a pregnant woman is assaulted, both the mother and the unborn child are victims.
In my view, that’s a crime against two human beings and more severe punishment for the convicted attacker is absolutely justified.
It is also my goal through this legislation to create a greater deterrent for assaults of this kind, which in my view, have no place in our society, especially when considering that one victim — the unborn child — is completely defenseless, and the pregnant mother is in a physical condition that makes it difficult for her to act in self-defense or flee her attacker.
I will work diligently to pass this bill during the current session of Texas Legislature, which runs until May 29th. If the bill is passed, the new law would take effect on September 1, 2017.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your state representative. I’m anxious to work on this effort, and many others, to ensure that Texas remains the best state in the country to live, work and raise a family.
God bless Texas!
State Rep. Brooks Landgraf serves Texas House District 81, which encompasses Andrews, Ector, Ward and Winkler counties. Landgraf lives in his hometown of Odessa with his wife, Shelby, and their daughter, Hollis Rose. He works as a fourth-generation West Texas cattle rancher and practices law at the firm of Todd, Barron, Thomason, Hudman & Bebout, P.C. in Odessa. An Eagle Scout, Landgraf is also active in several local non-profits.