Legislative highlights: Pro-life (TCV Vol. 85.1)

With each issue of Texas Catholic Voice we highlight key legislation for you to monitor. We begin with the foundational principle of the protection of human life from conception to natural death by highlighting the abortion-related legislation that we are supporting. This is not an exhaustive list, but those which we are closely collaborating with bill authors and our pro-life partners at Texas Alliance for Life and Texans for Life Coalition. Keep watching for developments in future issues of the Texas Catholic Voice.

Support SB 8: Ban Partial-Birth Abortions & Research on Children Lost to Abortion While the partial-birth abortion is banned federally, it is not possible for the state Attorney General to enforce this federal ban. SB 8 creates a ban on partial-birth abortion (identical to the federal ban upheld in Gonzales v. Carhart, 2007), giving the state Attorney General enforcement protection. This bill also bans the sale or donation of tissues and organs after an abortion and bans research on tissues and organs of victims of elective abortion by public and private institutions, recognizing the dignity of children lost to abortion.

Support HB 201: Humane Treatment of Bodies of Unborn Babies This bill codifies in statute rules for the proper disposition of the remains of victims of elective abortion and children lost to miscarriage. This bill ends abhorrent practices of disposing of the human bodies after abortion and provides for a humane and compassionate burial opportunity for these children.

Coming Soon: Support Improved Abortion Reporting We are working on a bill which will require reporting of abortion complications by providers and by providers of follow-up care (doctors’ offices, licensed abortion facilities, ASCs, and hospitals). Current complication data is only provided by abortion providers which masks the high number of complications seen in hospital ERs and doctors’ offices.

Support SB 25 & HB 434 Wrongful Birth Lawsuits Texas Law currently allows parents to sue their physicians for failure to notify them of a child’s disability in time for the parent to access an abortion. These lawsuits, called “Wrongful Birth Lawsuits,” are an attack on the dignity of life, especially the precious life of a child with a disability. We strongly support these bills which seek to recognize that birth and life are NEVER wrong.

Coming Soon: Support Ending Forced Abortions and Sex Trafficking Unfortunately, many women and girls are forced or coerced into having an abortion. Watch for legislation to provide critical protections from this horrific practice. Frequently, these abortions take place on victims of human trafficking and we must improve our prevention of abortions while rescuing and restoring vulnerable women.

Coming Soon SB 1: Promote Alternatives to Abortion through Self Sufficiency As we call for an end to abortion, one of the most critical tasks we have is to provide practical support to women who choose life for their children. The Texas Legislature has consistently increased funding in the Appropriations Act (HHSC D.2.2 STRATEGY: funding for Alternatives to Abortion) for programs to provide for the basic needs and parenting support for families with children under two years old. When this year’s budget bill (SB 1) is filed, we will let advocates know how to advocate for increased funding in this vital program.