The 84th Session of the Texas Legislature saw the downward spiral of several elected officials who fraudulently campaigned on Pro-Life platforms to garner votes and then betrayed their voters during key policy-making moments of the session. The most notorious of these shams was Byron Cook from House District 8, whose premeditated tactics in the State House of Representatives during session derailed Life-saving legislation supported by Texans and Pro-Life legislators.
Cook’s tactics in the House during session advanced an anti-Life agenda divorced from his prior voting record and the Pro-Life position he claims to uphold. The failure of the Texas Legislature to pass several crucial reforms to Texas law this session, in fact, lies squarely on the shoulders of Chairman Byron Cook, who abused his authority as the chair of the House State Affairs Committee to both weaken and kill Pro-Life legislation. Majorities in both the House and the Senate wanted the reforms. Byron Cook inexplicably took upon himself the mission of dismantling the Pro-Life agenda of the Texas Legislature – in some cases singlehandedly.
One of the many stains on Cook’s dismal record from the 84th Legislative Session was his sabotage of SB 575. Senate Bill 575 would have prohibited insurance plans from paying for abortions. Cook sabotaged this common-sense measure by purposely stalling the bill for two weeks, and then demanding the bill be weakened beyond recognition prior to allowing passage out of his Committee and onto the House floor. Because of Cook’s decisive anti-Life actions, the deaths of preborn Texans will continue to be footed by insurance premiums paid by Pro-Life Texans who denounce the practice.
Sadly, the preborn are not the only group of vulnerable Texans Cook abandoned during session. Cook also worked against legislation that would protect hospital patients from being killed by their doctors under the legal protection of the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA). Cook again served as the primary impediment to Pro-Life Priority Bills when he categorically denied even holding a hearing for two patient protection bills (HB 2949 and HB 3414). These widely supported bills had numerous co-authors and the support of many Pro-Life groups, as measures that would have protected vulnerable patients from secret or unwanted Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders and from the removal of Life-sustaining treatment based on anti-Life “quality of life” ethics.
Chairman Cook’s deplorable attacks on Pro-Life policies are more malicious than a simple “politics over policy” philosophy that leads him to stop bills by groups he does not like.
Cook is the undeniable cause for numerous missed opportunities to protect more pregnant women, preborn children, and vulnerable patients in Texas this year, several of which are not mentioned here. During the 84th Legislative Session, Chairman Cook openly criticized Pro-Life bills and actively advocated for deadly loopholes that allow for disabled preborn children to be the victims of late abortions.
Texas Right to Life is committed to protecting innocent human Life in our state. Because of this commitment we will continue to advocate for Life-saving legislation and to remove political enemies who stand in the way of a more Pro-Life Texas.
Stay tuned to TexasRightToLife.com for more information about who is doing more harm than good to our shared cause and look for the Texas Right to Life PAC endorsements to highlight the real Pro-Life heroes who will fight FOR, not AGAINST, the most helpless in our society.
Paid for by Texas Right to Life Political Action Committee