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.
During his first session of the legislature, State Representative Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) was one of only twelve House members invited to join the newly formed Texas House Freedom Caucus. The Freedom Caucus proved key for the Pro-Life movement in Texas since they secured and negotiated every Pro-Life victory in the Texas House this year.
Representative Briscoe Cain’s Pro-Life activism long predates his public service in Austin. While a law student at South Texas College of Law in Houston, Representative Cain founded one of the first Pro-Life clubs for law students in Texas, hosting experts and forums to educate and encourage Pro-Life activism on campus and in the community.
After graduation, Representative Cain served as counselor and advisor to several local and national Pro-Life groups in addition to his private practice. Representative Cain also served on the legal team in the high-profile Harris County case against David Daleiden, the undercover journalist who captured several hours of footage in which Planned Parenthood employees spoke freely about selling baby body parts in violation of federal law. Ultimately, the trumped-up charges against Daleiden were dropped with insufficient evidence to prosecute; however, Cain’s partnership with these Pro-Life activists and leaders clearly inspired some of his legislative policies.
One of the bills filed by Representative Cain during his first session was HB 3544, a measure prohibiting the state from contracting with any entities that conduct embryo-destroying stem cell research, commit elective abortions, or conduct research with bodies of victims of elective abortion. Although this bill was DOA in committee, Cain was not deterred from opportunities to attach his Pro-Life amendment to bills that were moving.
During the budget debate, Representative Cain offered several amendments to prohibit public spending on embryo-destroying research and the purchase of or research on fetal tissue from aborted children. Although these ultimately were not included in the final budget, his watchful eye on the bills soon afforded another opportunity on another Pro-Life bill. Representative Cain offered an amendment to clarify some definitions and to strengthen the prohibitions on research on fetal tissue from aborted children; his amendment passed overwhelmingly and is now law. This victory is significant, because every standalone policy filed by Representative Cain was stopped at the committee level by House Leadership, who aligned against Cain due to his outspoken Pro-Life and conservative beliefs.
Texas Right to Life is thankful for Representative Briscoe Cain and his constant efforts to advance the Culture of Life, both in his private life and his public service. We were proud to name him a 2017 Pro-Life Hero.
Click here for Cain’s full scorecard; see the commentary on his first session, and how he voted on each individual Pro-Life public vote scored by Texas Right to Life.