While the Texas Legislature pursues a policy that would strip the abortion industry of taxpayer dollars, Planned Parenthood continues to expand their abortion operation within the state. Early in February, Planned Parenthood started committing abortions at one of their facilities in San Antonio, giving the abortion giant two locations in the San Antonio area and eight locations throughout the state. This expansion is indicative of Planned Parenthood’s growing monopoly over the abortion industry. Pro-Life Texans would be remiss if we did not use this session to fully defund Planned Parenthood and the entire abortion industry.
House Bill 1929 by Representative Candy Noble (R-Lucas) and Senate Bill 896 by Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) are the bills by which the goal of defunding the abortion industry can be achieved. A strong defunding bill should:
- Extend the temporary prohibition of state funds going to the abortion industry into permanent state law;
- Apply strong Pro-Life fiscal policies to local governments like cities, counties, and school districts;
- Include stronger enforcement mechanisms to ensure no contracts, benefits, or tax dollars flow to the abortion industry, intentionally or unintentionally.
Any tax dollars that flow to an abortion provider or an affiliate are fungible and necessarily benefit the abortion side of the organization. Furthermore, any tax dollars that the government allocates to Planned Parenthood or another abortion provider implicitly signal government support for the entire mission of that organization.
There are currently twenty abortion facilities in Texas, most of them located in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin. In San Antonio, Planned Parenthood seized on the closure of a Whole Women’s Health clinic at the end of 2018, hoping to grab a firmer grip on the rapidly growing metropolitan area. Two of the three abortion facilities in the area are now owned by Planned Parenthood. The new facility is located adjacent to San Antonio College and near Trinity University.
A strong defunding bill satisfies the three benchmarks for a truly Pro-Life bill: the bill will save lives, will advance the cultural conversation about the humanity of preborn children, and will lead to long-term judicial victories. The bill will save lives, as studies show (and even the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute found) that decreasing funding for the abortion industry reduces the abortion rate. The bill will also illuminate the atrocities of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers while redirecting attention to Pro-Life alternatives like the Alternatives to Abortion and the Healthy Texas Women programs. The policy declares that Texans only support subsidizing life-affirming social and medical service providers. Moreover, defunding efforts have consistently withstood legal scrutiny. This includes a recent ruling in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit involving Texas’s authority to disqualify Planned Parenthood from Medicaid reimbursements.
Defunding the abortion industry was on Governor Greg Abbott’s agenda during the 2017 Special Session of the 85th Texas Legislature. Pro-Life Texans are unified in their belief that this bill is judicious and necessary. Legislators must pass a robust defunding bill in both chambers, one that prohibits state and local funding of the abortion industry, statutorily disqualifies abortion providers from Medicaid, addresses the abortion industry’s presence in Texas schools, and prohibits taxpayer-funded lobbying in support of the abortion industry.
Planned Parenthood’s influence expands while the abortion rate continues to decline. The abortion industry continues to thrive on the direct killing of innocent human beings. Texas must affirm our commitment to halting this gruesome practice by passing an expansive defunding bill.
Read more about this Pro-Life priority here.