Texas Right to Life's 2013 Pro-Life legislative agenda
by Texas Right to LifeTuesday, January 08, 2013
1. Texas Preborn Pain Bill
The Preborn Pain Bill will establish the state’s interest in protecting the lives of preborn children who can feel pain. Medical consensus in peer-reviewed research confirms that neurological and physiological structures are fully formed at twenty weeks of development, and therefore, children can feel pain at that stage of development. The Preborn Pain Bill would then ban abortion at that 20-week mark, sparing these children from excruciating dismemberment during an abortion.
2. Health Insurance Reform
The Insurance Reform Bill would shield citizens from paying for insurance coverage for abortion through the state exchanges [mandated by PPACA], if such exchanges are established in Texas. In the insurance plans for state employees, abortion coverage would also be narrowed to medical emergencies, clearly defined as a physical, imminent threat to the mother’s life caused by the pregnancy.
3. Protect Minors from Secret Abortions and Sexual Predators
Current law allows pregnant minors to petition a judge for permission to undergo a secret abortion without parental involvement. Some of these minors are victims of sexual abuse, and the perpetrator acts as the guardian in the court and at the abortion clinic, coercing his victim into an abortion to conceal his crime. The abortion industry exploits the judicial bypass loophole, appointing the clinics’ own attorneys to shepherd pregnant minors through the intimidating court system, conspiring for a secret abortion without parental involvement. Texas Right to Life’s goal is to close the many loopholes in the judicial bypass procedure that jeopardize pregnant minors and abrogate the rights of parents to be involved in the health and care of their young daughters.
4. Abortion Industry Accountability Bill
This bill would require abortion clinics to follow the laws that have been enacted in the last decade. The bill would also require that abortionists secure admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic so that women and babies who survive botched abortions can undergo emergency, life-saving care, rather than languish at a clinic unequipped to respond to unexpected surgical crises and medical complications.
5. Patient Protection from Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders
Many physicians issue unauthorized Do-Not-Resuscitate orders, imposing their arbitrary quality of life value judgments on patients. This bill would mark a step toward restoring the rights of patients to direct their own health care decisions by requiring doctors to secure the consent of the patient or surrogate before executing a DNR order.
6. Advance Directive Reform
Current Texas law [Texas Health and Safety Code, 166.046] allows a physician to withdraw life-sustaining medical treatment, including food and water, from a patient despite the patient’s advance directive or expressed wishes. Once the physician’s decision is made and then rubber-stamped by the hospital’s own futility review process, the patient/family are given ten days to transfer to another facility or to another physician. Neither the physician nor the facility is obligated to treat the patient beyond the tenth day, which can and has led to the death of the patient. Rarely are transfers completed within the ten-day allotment. Texas Right to Life seeks to change the law to allow more time for patients to be transferred to more appropriate care settings or to physicians who will honor patient choices to continue medical treatment.