My name is Shannon Jaquette and I am the Policy Analyst at the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops testifying in support of HB 1173.

Last session the legislature had the wisdom and foresight to pass legislation to protect taxpayers from subsidizing abortion through preferential contracts and property deals. Despite the fact that time and time again the people of Texas have made it abundantly clear that our citizens have a tremendous respect for unborn human life, some city officials in this state have chosen to ignore that respect and continue to look for loopholes to skirt the law. HB 1173 stops the practice that cities have used to fund transportation and other logistical support for abortion. This bill ensures that our tax dollars are not used in violation of the most basic principle of our union, that all people are guaranteed a right to life.

As our legislature seeks to fund the essential services of local and state government after a devastating pandemic, now is the time to prohibit the misdirected use of local tax subsidy that offers any level of government support for abortion. Abortion is not healthcare, but instead is the intentional destruction of innocent human life, which ought never to be funded nor subsidized by our tax dollars, directly or indirectly. Instead, our limited resources should be focused on education, public safety, and true healthcare, including the expansion of comprehensive community-based healthcare and alternatives to abortion such as adoption and parenting support programs.

HB 1173 is yet another way that the State of Texas can express our profound respect for human life to establish a stronger culture of life in Texas.