Three critical bills on the Pro-Life Priority Agenda were passed by the Texas House Committee on Public Health, chaired by Representative Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth). The life-saving bills passed from committee today included:
- HB 1515 Texas Heartbeat Act by Representative Shelby Slawson (R-Stephenville), which prohibits abortions after the child’s heartbeat is detectable.
- HB 3218 Preborn NonDiscrimination Act (PreNDA) by Representative Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), which bans discriminatory abortions motivated by the preborn child’s sex, race, or suspected disability.
- HB 3760 The Texas Abolition Strategy Act (TAS) by Representative Oliverson (R-Houston), a three-in-one omnibus bill. The three provisions will take effect at different dates to ban discriminatory abortions, abortions after the heartbeat is detectable, and ultimately all elective abortions in Texas within four years.
Texas citizens gathered in Austin to share moving testimony last Wednesday, April 7, in support of these Pro-Life priorities. Among many others, Aly Fish and Rick Smith testified in support of the Texas Abolition Strategy.
Aly is a military veteran and mother. When Aly was pregnant, doctors stated her child wouldn’t survive and suggested she abort. Now, Aly’s daughter is one year old and even took her first steps outside the committee room that day! She urged the committee to pass the Texas Abolition Strategy, which, in part, would establish a network of support for parents in similar situations.
Rick Smith, better known as “Noah’s Dad,” consistently faced negativity when he and his wife learned their preborn son, Noah, had Down syndrome. The Smiths knew, however, that Noah’s life was a gift. Rick held 10-year-old Noah’s hand as he encouraged the committee to help other parents see the value of their preborn children with disabilities through the Texas Abolition Strategy. “I wouldn’t change a single chromosome on him. If I had a time machine and could go back, I would do it all over again.”
Texas Right to Life Senior Legislative Associate Rebecca Parma responded to today’s committee vote:
Texas plummeted in recent years to only the 20th Pro-Life state in the nation. This ranking represents thousands of lives that could have been saved and thousands of mothers who have been harmed by the abortion industry. For the sake of those women and their children, Texas must be bold at this pivotal time. These Pro-Life Priority Bills are our opportunity to lead the nation in overturning Roe v. Wade.
Texas Right to Life applauds the representatives who voted in favor and Chairwoman Stephanie Klick for her leadership. We also thank Representatives Slawson, Oliverson, and Schaefer for authoring these life-saving bills.
The committee also considered but has not yet voted on additional Pro-Life bills heard yesterday to end the 10-Day Rule and protect health care professionals’ conscience rights.
The next step is for the House Committee on Calendars to schedule the Texas Heartbeat Act, Preborn NonDiscrimination Act, and Texas Abolition Strategy on the House floor for a vote by the full body. Texans must urge their state representatives to ask House leadership to schedule these bills for a vote quickly as fewer than 50 days remain in the session.