Today is a Big Day in House Committee for Pro-Life Efforts

After being delayed a day because of the long floor debate on the Voter ID bill, the House State Affairs committee is set to hear multiple Pro-Life bills this afternoon.  The list of measures includes two of Texas Right to Life’s top legislative priorities:  

  1. HB 816 sponsored by Chairman Todd Hunter, opting abortion funding out of the ObamaCare state exchange programs.  The way ObamaCare was passed last year allows insurance coverage for abortion to be paid for by government subsidies in the state exchange program to be set up in Texas by 2014.  This bill would prohibit abortion insurance coverage from being included in the health benefit plans offered through the state exchange program.  (See footnote)  
  2. HB 1602 sponsored by Representative Bill Zedler, requiring confidential data collection of abortions committed in Texas and reporting of post-abortion complications on women.  Currently, the Department of State Health Services receives very minimal and inaccurate data concerning abortions occurring in Texas.  This bill will require accurate data be reported by abortion clinics, and all identifying or personal information will remain confidential. 
Among our two priority bills, there are four other bills that deal with Pro- Life issues which we favor: 
  • HB 1078 by Rep Phil King strengthens the requirements for who can represent a minor seeking to receive a judicial bypass to circumvent the parental consent for abortion legislation.
  • HJR 55 by Representative Christian, proposing a constitutional amendment prohibiting hospital districts from using local tax revenue to fund abortions.
  • HJR 22 by Representative David Simpson, proposing a constitutional amendment to prohibit any government entity from contracting, partnering, or otherwise providing financial support and incentives to organizations that commit abortions or perform abortion-related services. 
In addition to all the Pro-Life bills to be heard in the committee, HB 561 by Representative Wayne Christian, will most likely be voted out of committee today.  This bill is a great measure that will prohibit hospital districts from using local tax revenue to finance abortions. 
It is always exciting when our bills get moving … the culmination of hard work, grassroots activism, and prayers.  Check back throughout the day for updates on how the hearings are going and the result of today’s committee meeting. 
Footnote: Texas Right to Life fully supports efforts to repeal the entirety of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act since it has several anti-life provisions and abortion funding streams.  However, before that victory is won, we want to ensure that, at the very least, tax dollars do not fund abortions through the exchange programs if no repeal has occurred before 2014; HB816 will accomplish this.