Texas Right to Life’s crucial role in enhancing informed consent laws and defunding Planned Parenthood occurred in tandem with a marked decrease in the state abortion rate, according to numbers gleaned from a new report released this week by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
A new report from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) shows a continuing downward trend in the Texas abortion rate in 2013. Since 2008, nearly 20,000 fewer abortions were committed than if the rate had remained steady from 2008 to 2013. The continued decrease is from the number of abortions reported in 2013, in which nearly 4,500 fewer abortions were reported than in the previous year. Texas Right to Life has played a crucial role in crafting more Life-affirming policies that encourage and help women to choose Life instead of abortion.
During the 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature in 2011, for example, in addition to removing Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Program, Texas Right to Life wrote the eight amendments to the state’s budget bill that redirected more than $64 million away from abortion providers to health care programs that are not affiliated with abortion. Texas was the first state to launch such an attack on abortion money, and Pro-Life legislators credit Texas Right to Life for the cornerstone plan that has led to the closure of over a dozen abortion clinics.
The historic Sonogram Law that passed in 2011 has also served as a key factor in decreasing abortions. When legislators rewrote the sonogram requirement out of the sonogram bill, Texas Right to Life worked to restore the legislation so that a pregnant woman would see her child in utero before finalizing an abortion decision.
Again in 2013, some legislators sought to remove the five-month ban on abortion from House Bill 2, the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill that passed in the second special session of the 83rd Legislature, but Texas Right to Life organized the legislative efforts to keep all the provisions of HB 2 in the final version. Now children who are fully formed and can feel pain are protected from the excruciating pain of abortion, because Texas Right to Life would not compromise on this tenet.
The Woman’s Right to Know Law of 2003, the Alternatives to Abortion program of 2005, the budget victories in 2011, the Sonogram Law, implementation of HB 2, and other rules applied to public funds have all been spearheaded by Texas Right to Life. These legislative triumphs along with expansion of resource agencies that help pregnant women and men in need have resulted in another drop in the abortion numbers and in the abortion rate.
While the decrease is significant, we mourn the 63,849 children who still died in abortion mills in 2013. Our work to establish an abortion-free Texas is not finished. Planned Parenthood still receives funding through three different revenue streams, all of which could be stopped by a budget overlay disqualifying and excluding all abortion providers and affiliates from public monies. Texans are also still forced to fund abortions through their public and private insurance premiums, and preborn children with anomalous diagnoses in utero can still be subjected to the torment of a late-term abortion. At Texas Right to Life, we persist in our tireless efforts to defund the abortion industry and extend equal protection to every single preborn child in our state.