UPDATE: Pro-Life Heroes Assigned Committee Chairs, Ending 10-Day Rule Prioritized, Planned Parenthood Stalls Defunding.

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Pro-Life Weekly Legislative Update:

  • Speaker Phelan released the House committee assignments, and he improved several key committees for Pro-Life priorities, which should open the pathway for life-saving legislation this session.
  • After filing a last-minute, desperate lawsuit, Planned Parenthood is not quite cut off from Medicaid funding yet. Even when Planned Parenthood loses, Texas still does not have a permanent fix to keeping all taxpayer funding away from the abortion giant.
  • Texas Right to Life celebrated Baby Tinslee Lewis’s second birthday on February 1! Our Patient Advocacy Department assists vulnerable patients like Tinslee on a daily basis. To protect these Texans, the 87th Legislature must prioritize repealing the 10-Day Rule that allows physicians to remove wanted basic life-sustaining treatment, imposing death on vulnerable patients.

This week marks the end of the first month of the Regular Session of the 87th Texas Legislature. While the Texas House and Senate again convened only briefly, Speaker of the House Dade Phelan released committee assignments. Several Pro-Life heroes were selected to chair various committees, including several new chairs of crucial committees for Pro-Life priorities:

  • Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood) – Appropriations
  • Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) – Public Health
  • Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) – State Affairs

As Pro-Life bills are filed and referred by the Speaker to the various committees, we look forward to working with the chairs and committees as they begin to move Life-saving legislation. 

After years-long litigation, Texas was finally set to kick Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Medicaid program and defund the abortion giant of even more taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, on the day this was set to take effect, Planned Parenthood launched a last minute effort to briefly continue receiving this funding. This underscores the necessity of the State Legislature to codify removal of Planned Parenthood from Texas’s Medicaid program. Medicaid remains a significant source of taxpayer funding flowing to the abortion industry throughout the United States. 

In conjunction with Tinslee Lewis’ second birthday, we publicized information about the second Pro-Life priority this session: Repealing the anti-Life 10-Day Rule. Current Texas law authorizes hospitals to remove patients’ basic life-sustaining medical treatment, like a ventilator, against their own (or their family’s) expressed instructions. After a hospital committee agrees with the doctor’s decision, this law starts the countdown and puts all the pressure on the patient and their family to find a new facility that will honor their medical decisions to continue living. The countdown mechanism leaves the patient with limited legal recourse and depriving patients of their Right to Life without due process. When the 10-day countdown expires, the physician and hospital have complete criminal, civil, and administrative immunity to remove the life-sustaining treatment, thereby causing or hastening the patient’s death. 

The priority Pro-Life bill this session is a narrow reform, protecting patients by simply repealing the 10-day countdown. The proposed bill would require that patients continue to receive life-sustaining treatment until they can be transferred to a more appropriate care setting or to another physician who will honor their medical decisions, thereby protecting their due process rights. 

Texas Right to Life’s own Patient Advocacy Department serves patients and their families facing the 10-Day Rule, among other similar disputes. Since the end of the last legislative session, we have assisted over 80 families. Each of these patients, including Baby Tinslee, are in desperate need for the Texas Legislature to decisively act to pass this crucial Pro-Life priority bill this session. 

Both chambers will convene again on Tuesday, February 16. You must remain informed on the 87th Texas Legislature so that you can defend Life in the Legislature with us when the time arrives! Check back here for more updates next week, and make sure to sign up for text alerts to receive real-time updates on legislative activity and to learn how you can be involved. 

Text “TXLEGE” to 56525 to stay in the know!

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