In conjunction with the 2017 Pro-Life Scorecard for the Regular and Special Sessions of the 85th Texas Legislature, Texas Right to Life published a 2017 Pro-Life Heroes list and a 2017 Disappointments List, highlighting specific legislators. This article is part of an ongoing series to explain how specific elected officials earned the title as a Pro-Life Hero or a Disappointment.
Sarah Davis (R-West University Place) is the only openly anti-Life Republican in the Texas State House of Representatives. On the Pro-Life Scorecard, she earned 0%. Not only did Davis vote against the passage of every Pro-Life bill during the regular and special sessions of the 85th Legislature, she also actively worked to thwart Pro-Life amendments and legislation by offering weakening and hostile amendments.
Some of Davis’ most egregious anti-Life actions include authoring House Bill 1373 during the regular session, which would have allowed a minor to access abortifacients, without the consent or even notification of her parents. Davis opposed an amendment to protect preborn children with disabilities from late-term abortions; and, during the special session, she voted against Senate Bill 11, which requires patient consent before a physician can issue a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Order (the only Republican to vote against this reform). Davis also went out of her way to register a “no” vote on all the filed Pro-Life amendments to Senate Bill 1, the state’s budget for the 2018-2019 biennium.
These budget amendments did not reach the House floor for consideration, but members were able to register their position on these measures in the House journal. For this deliberate act of registering against and showing her disdain for these Life-saving efforts, Davis earned penalties against her final score on the Pro-Life Scorecard. Many anti-Life Democratic members didn’t even go so far as to take this additional action.
Davis ranked as House leadership this session as Chair not only of the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics, but also of the Chair of the Subcommittee of the budget for the Health & Human Services. However, instead of using her role in this capacity to advance funding for Pro-Life initiatives, she opted not to increase funding for the Alternatives to Abortion program and rejected all other Pro-Life measures. The Alternatives program, a network of social services including adoption agencies and maternity homes in addition to pregnancy centers, usually enjoys bipartisan support. However, Davis thwarted efforts to expand the successful statewide program in her subcommittee.
Although Davis’ list of offenses against Pro-Life policy is long, more dangerous is her advancement within the leadership of the Texas House. She is a liberal Republican who has demonstrated through her four terms how she is willing to do anything to advance in House leadership. She is setting a standard that Republican Party principles are negotiable and unimportant, including the Pro-Life view. The voters of House District 134 deserve a representative who is truly conservative and truly Pro-Life, not just a Republican-In-Name-Only—because she really is not a Republican.
Click for Davis’ full scorecard, see the commentary on her most recent session, and how she voted on each individual Pro-Life public vote scored by Texas Right to Life.