On Wednesday, Texas chapters of Planned Parenthood, National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and the ACLU, along with 8 other abortion advocacy groups, held a press conference to announce current legislative efforts to increase abortions and reverse hard-fought Pro-Life victories from previous sessions.
Each session, Texas Right to Life tracks these anti-Life efforts, which often include replacing the term “unborn child” with the term “fetus” throughout Texas law, eliminating the 24 hour waiting period before an elective abortion, and eliminating penalties for abortionists who do not follow informed consent laws. None of these bills are expected to have a high chance of success because blatant anti-Life Democrats simply do not have the necessary votes on the House or Senate floor. The futility of these bills is obvious, even at a press conference held to advertise them. The first question the groups received from the media following their speeches: “Do your groups have any indication this session’s [anti-Life] agenda will be any more effective than last session’s agenda?”
Such a question shows the true dynamic Texas Right to Life faces in Austin: Our barriers to significant legislative victories are not blatant pro-abortion Democrat lawmakers or advocacy groups, but apathetic Republicans. Members who run on Pro-Life platforms oftentimes would rather avoid “controversial topics,” even working to kill substantive Pro-Life legislation before a vote is ever taken.
To hold legislators accountable for their promises made on the campaign trail, an engaged population needs to ask the hard questions of their legislators – are they actively work to bring strong Pro-Life legislation to the floor? Or do your elected officials work to ensure such legislation never reaches their chamber floor, reluctantly pressing a green button for the sake of a scorecard when the bill comes to a vote despite their best efforts?
Stay tuned this session for Texas Right to Life updates on how to stay engaged and hold your elected officials accountable to fight for the lives of the vulnerable.