A Texas legislator has proposed that pregnant women considering abortion be offered $500 not to end their pregnancies.
Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick, who also is a conservative radio talk show host, said on Friday the money might convince the women to go ahead and have babies, then give them up for adoption.
He said during a legislative conference in New Braunfels, 45 miles south of Austin, there were 75,000 abortions in Texas last year.
"If this incentive would give pause and change the mind of 5 percent of those woman, that's 3,000 lives. That's almost as many people as we've lost in Iraq," Patrick said.
Patrick has filed legislation to make the payment state law, but the legislature has not yet voted on it.
His proposal calls for giving any woman going to an abortion clinic the $500 option, to be paid no more than 30 days after the baby is born and given up for adoption.
Critics say the proposal would violate Texas and federal laws against buying babies, which Patrick rejected as "the typical ridiculous criticism."
Heather Paffe, political director of Planned Parenthood of Texas, said Patrick's proposal "is very cynical and insulting to women and their families."
"It's insulting to think women would make that kind of decision so easily," she said."