The 87th Session of the Texas Legislature can properly be described as a great victory for preborn children but a devastating loss for vulnerable patients. This session, while a number of elected officials proved to be hostile adversaries who actively worked to harm the Pro-Life movement, some distinguished themselves as champions for Life. Although several Pro-Life Priorities did not end in success like the Texas Heartbeat Act, we must recognize the elected officials who took up the crucial fight for Life.
The Pro-Life Heroes for the 87th Legislature not only earned scores of 100% for their Pro-Life votes, but went beyond the norm by taking the lead in advocating for Life.
Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) authored Senate Bill 1647, known as the Texas Abolition Strategy. This multi-part bill would have sequentially banned discriminatory abortions and the remaining late-term abortions in Texas, then abortions on preborn children with a detectable heartbeat, and, finally, all remaining elective abortions in Texas. Senator Perry firmly shepherded SB 1647 through passage in committee and on the Senate floor. As a member of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, Senator Perry also played a key role in passing out of committee the Respecting Texas Patients’ Right to Life Act (SB 917), which would have abolished the anti-Life 10-Day Rule.
Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) authored SB 1674, which would have provided crucial protections for medical professionals, protecting them from being forced to engage in procedures that violated their consciences. Though his bill was never given the opportunity to be heard in committee, his authorship and work behind the scenes is praiseworthy. As a member of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, Senator Hall also played a key role in passing the Respecting Texas Patients’ Right to Life Act out of committee.
Representative Tom Oliverson, M.D., (R-Cypress) was the author of the House version of both the Texas Abolition Strategy (HB 3760) and Conscience Protections for Health Care Professionals (HB 1424). Though each of these bills ultimately died, they made it all the way to the Calendars Committee under the diligence of Representative Oliverson. As a Pro-Life physician and a member of the House Committee on Public Health, Representative Oliverson also played a substantial role in advancing both of his bills and numerous other Pro-Life Priorities out of this committee and on to their next steps in the process.
Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) authored SB 1173, known as the Preborn NonDiscrimination Act (PreNDA). PreNDA would banned the remaining late-term abortions and all discriminatory abortions related to the preborn child’s sex, race, or diagnosis of a potential disability. This bill passed the Senate, but was tragically never placed on the House calendar.
Representative Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) authored the Respecting Texas Patients’ Right to Life Act (HB 2609). This was the desperately needed bill that would have ended the horrific anti-Life 10-Day Rule, which threatens the lives of an untold number of vulnerable Texans each year. The 10-Day Rule allows hospitals to withhold or withdraw basic life-sustaining treatment from patients against their will. Representative Parker also carried similar legislation in 2019. Representative Parker fought valiantly to move the bill through the Public Health Committee in the House. However, like so many other Pro-Life Priorities, once HB 2609 advanced to the Calendars Committee, the bill was quietly killed behind the committee’s closed doors.
Representative Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) authored an amendment to the state’s budget that successfully added $20 million to the life-saving Alternatives to Abortion (A2A) program. This amendment increased the total funding of the A2A program from $80 million to $100 million, giving the program more power to serve even more women and children through qualifying pregnancy resource centers, adoption agencies, and maternity homes. Even more, this successful increase to the Alternatives to Abortion program perfectly complements the anticipated increase of women choosing Life following the historic passage and implementation of the Texas Heartbeat Act.
Texas Right to Life and Pro-Life Texans are extremely grateful for our heroes and their dedication to protecting innocent Life from conception until natural death!
Visit Texas Right to Life’s Pro-Life Scorecard to see for yourself how your elected officials performed this year.