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A year ago today, our stalwart Pro-Life governor, Rick Perry, signed a piece of monumental legislation that changed the landscape of abortion and women’s health in our state for the better. On this day in 2013, House Bill 2 became the strongest Pro-Life law in Texas since the detrimental provisions of Roe v. Wade took effect in 1973. In that 40-year span, Texas has lost upwards of millions innocent pre-born children. HB2 was a crucial step toward ending the scourge of abortion in Texas.
The passage of HB2 helped both women and children of the state of Texas. The law guarantees protection to preborn children at five months of pregnancy who are capable of feeling excruciating pain. Prior to HB2, unborn children capable of feeling the unfathomable pain of dismemberment by abortion were not protected, but today, our state recognizes its interest in protecting these tiny Texans.
HB2 was an encouraging, monumental step that propels us forward to keep fighting not only for Texas families, but also pregnant women.
As a result of the highly-publicized debate over HB2 last year, many Texans learned truths about preborn pain that the abortion industry has tried to shroud – abetted by the mainstream media – for years. Those who could not escape headlines learned that at 20 weeks – and likely earlier—unborn children can undeniably feel the torturous pain of abortion as they die. The majority of Texans united and told their legislators about the inhumanity of late-term abortion. Legislators responded accordingly and particularly after the “Stand for Life” Rally at the State Capitol in favor of the five-month abortion ban found in HB2. The voices at the rally and in the hallways at the Capitol were far louder (not to mention peaceful and respectful) than that the angry shouts of the abortion mob.
In the year since passage, HB2’s requirements have led to the closing of at least fourteen abortion mills in the state. Prior to HB2, these mills were running without some of the most fundamental safety and medical precautions or oversight. Included in the new standards are basic ambulatory surgical center features in facilities, local hospital admitting privileges for abortionists, and FDA protocol for the distribution of fatal abortion-inducing drugs. HB2 did not enact any radical Pro-Life standards, rather, the new law codified the most rudimentary precautions for women’s safety.
Because of these strides for women’s health, deaths like that of Karnamaya Mongar in Philadelphia, whose paramedics could not extract her stretcher out of Kermit Gosnell’s narrow hallways, will be prevented. Abortionists will not be able to prioritize their own convenience and personal profit ahead of patient wellbeing. Additionally, the new FDA protocol for the RU-486 pill, abortionists must now be present to administer the abortion-inducing drugs to pregnant mothers. These steps make Texas a safer place for women and the pre-born.
While we celebrate the passage of HB2 and the lives spared from abortion, we still have a long battle ahead before Texas is abortion-free. Many states followed Texas’ pioneering lead by introducing similar Life-affirming legislation in their state legislatures after HB2 succeeded. States like Mississippi have worked toward maternal-fetal protections with 20-week bans on abortion. In the process, Americans have collectively grown more educated about the gruesome realities of abortion, and this is an invaluable step toward abolishing abortion. Education is a crucial part of Texas Right to Life’s action plan for restoring America’s Culture of Life.