“No Taxpayer Funds for Abortion” takes effect September 1, 2019

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The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Providers Act, Senate Bill 22, will take effect on September 1.  The goal of the bill is to ensure that Texans’ tax dollars do not fund or benefit abortion providers or their affiliates in any capacity.  This is an important goal because any funding that the abortion industry receives, whether explicitly for the purpose of abortions or not, indirectly subsidizes abortions and forces Texans to fund the destruction of innocent human Life with their tax dollars.

The 86th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 22 by Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) on May 24, just three days before the end of the regular session.  Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill shortly after passage, making SB 22 one of many laws taking effect at the beginning of September.  Senator Campbell showed compassion and perseverance throughout the long fight to pass SB 22, and Texas Right to Life is thankful for her leadership.

The new law prohibits state, city, and county governments in Texas from engaging in financial activities that benefit abortion providers or their affiliates.  This includes leases, donations, contracts, or any commercial exchanges with the abortion industry.  The bill also bans local governments from lobbying on behalf of abortion providers and their affiliates, which will end the City of Austin’s current practice of lobbying for Planned Parenthood funding at the state level.  However, the law will not stop the city from lobbying for federal Planned Parenthood funding.

Unfortunately, SB 22 is narrower in scope than necessary.  One such example of this is that the bill does not apply to contracts signed before September 1.  The City of Austin expected this bill to become law when they voted in November to renew their sweetheart deal with Planned Parenthood.  The city has leased a historic East Austin property to Planned Parenthood for just $1 per year for 20 years.  Because this lease was signed prior to this bill becoming law, Austin residents will likely be forced to continue subsidizing the abortion provider for the duration of the 20 year contract.  Regrettably, the new law will also not affect any federal funds, like Medicaid, from going to the abortion industry in Texas.

Despite limitations of the new law, nothing stopped critics from declaring this bill the “biggest threat to Planned Parenthood this session.”  Although, with the glaring lack of Pro-Life gains made this past legislative session, they may have a point.  Still, no Texan should be forced to subsidize the destruction of innocent human Life.  If the business of killing innocent children without taxpayer subsidies no longer remains profitable, the taxpayers of Texas say “good riddance.”

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