My name is Shannon Jaquette and I am the Policy Analyst at the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops testifying in support of HB 2337, the Chemical Abortion Safety Protocol. I want to be clear from the outset that no abortion is safe; every abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human person. Until the day comes, however, where all people recognize the innate dignity of the human person from conception, Texas is called on to reduce the harm to women seeking abortion as much as possible.

HB 2337 will codify in Texas statute the current FDA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, otherwise known as REMS, which were put in place by the Clinton administration that recognized the potential harmful effects of chemical abortion on women’s health. Any federal deregulation of abortion-inducing drugs will gut the protections in Texas, resulting in an increase in the complications of this type of abortion. Moreover, these drugs would become readily accessible to individuals who desire to end a woman’s pregnancy without her consent such as human traffickers and abusive partners or family members.

The effort to remove these regulations is also an attempt by the abortion industry to characterize the decision to end a pregnancy as no more consequential than taking an antibiotic to cure an infection. This mindset is emblematic of what Pope Francis refers to as our “throwaway culture” and what Saint Pope John Paul II referred to as a “culture of death,” a culture in which profits are placed before the health and safety of women and the unborn.

While we often talk about the emotional and psychological harm that mothers can endure after abortion, we must remember that abortion also hurts fathers, husbands, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and aunts and uncles. The child is lost to everyone in a family and in the broader human family, the world loses a unique human being, a tragedy that would be compounded by the loss of or harm to the mother.

As you have heard from previous witnesses, the complications due to chemical abortion can be devastating, this bill seeks to reduce the physical harm by ensuring the original federal protocols for chemical abortion are protected in Texas statute.

In the pro-life movement, we often hear the expression “Love them both”, a call to extend compassion to both mother and child. We answer that call today by voicing our support of this bill which offers greater protection and respect for the lives of women seeking abortion.