As the most sweeping Pro-Life reform in Texas history heads to the Supreme Court of the United States and the fate of the lucrative abortion industry hangs in the balance, Texas abortion advocates are desperate to appear relevant. In spite of being overwhelmingly outnumbered by Pro-Life activists, abortion supporters have tried to rally their meager support base in anticipation of SCOTUS’s first hearings of House Bill 2, the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill of the 2013 Legislative Session. HB 2 protects most pain-capable preborn Texas children past 20 weeks’ gestation from dismemberment abortions, and requires abortionists and abortion mills to raise their safety standards to level with legitimate medical practices.
Notably, the abortion industry has not challenged the protection of preborn babies who can undeniably feel pain. Only a small segment of the abortion industry in Texas, backed by a New York-based abortion group, is challenging the increased health and safety standards for abortion mills contained in HB 2. This challenge will be taken up by SCOTUS on March 2.
NARAL Pro-Choice Texas director Heather Busby told ExpressNews: “It’s nerve-wracking to have the future of reproductive rights in the hands of nine judges, and especially in the hands of Justice Anthony Kennedy.” Experts posit that Kennedy, who often acts as a swing vote when the Court is ideologically divided, will side with the opinion confirming HB 2’s constitutionality.
Likely in a state of panic over the viability of their position, NARAL launched what they called a “Truth Tour” across Texas earlier this month. They intended to convince legislators and the nation that Texans want elective abortion. And they failed miserably. Although hyped by sympathetic media outlets, the turnout failed on all counts to illustrate a strong base for abortion support in Texas.
Truth Tour Facebook RSVPs indicate that about 250 Texans said they would attend the five tours collectively. However, photos from the events indicate a turnout closer to half of that figure. Still, Busby insists that Texans were galvanized by HB 2 to rally behind abortion, citing that her organization’s funding has doubled since 2013. Another prominent abortion activist cited the Harris County indictment of Center for Medical Progress journalists as a boon to their credibility.
But the perceived surge in abortion fervor is a fiction. That abortion proponents have received a financial bump since 2013 is absolutely true – but the funding is not coming from abortion-zealous Texans. Instead, national celebrities and anti-Life bankrollers, like billionaire Warren Buffett, have underwritten the Texas abortion industry’s push against HB 2.
“People are realizing across Texas just how much is at stake right now,” said Busby. On that we can agree. In fact, the Pro-Life movement has seen incredible momentum since HB 2 came to the floor in 2013. When the measure’s passage was threatened by an obstinate filibuster by an anti-Life Texas legislator, Pro-Lifers from every corner of the state rushed to the Capitol to stand for Life. Meanwhile, facing a dearth of enthusiasm for their cause, abortion advocates resorted to busing in paid activists. Their last-ditch effort to give a human face to the abortion industry’s greedy opposition of the bill was too little too late, and the Pro-Life majority claimed victory.
Since 2013, the abortion movement in Texas has not grown any more promising. For all of their efforts, Texas abortion advocates continue to yield poorly-attended events and failed political bids. On the other hand, Pro-Life momentum grows – especially among young people. For example, since 2013 Texas’s network of Pro-Life campus groups has increased, maternal assistance programs are expanding and multiplying, comprehensive women’s health centers are better funded, local and statewide rallies are packed with Pro-Life supporters, and Pro-Life elected officials see increasing support among the voter base.