This week, looming deadlines for the Texas Legislature are bringing a clearer picture of which measures are dead and which measures still have a fighting chance.
Monday, May 8th is the last day for House bills to be passed out of a House committee. In reality, any bills passing out of committee on Monday are too far behind the schedule to ever make an appearance on the House floor.
Thursday, May 11th is the last day for House Bills to be heard on the House floor. Currently, there are bills scheduled on calendars for Monday and Tuesday. In reality, the Texas House will likely still be debating the bills scheduled on Tuesday’s calendar when the clock strikes midnight Thursday.
Three bills relevant to the Pro-Life cause are scheduled on Monday’s calendar (though they may not come to the floor until Tuesday). Two require substantial amendments to be considered positive gains for the Pro-Life movement, and one is a Texas Right to Life priority measure.
House Bill 2962 by Representative Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) codifies already-existing administrative law regarding reporting of abortion complications into statutory law. Texas Right to Life and several conservative House members will be offering amendments to strengthen abortion reporting in the state of Texas, ensuring timely and pertinent information is provided to the state, thus allowing for swift enforcement of abortion laws and the weeding out of bad actors maiming Texas women.
House Bill 3771 by Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) attempts to redefine the term “abortion.” In the original form, House Bill 3771 simply exempted ectopic pregnancies from the definition of abortion; the most recent version, however, complicates the definition of abortion negatively. Texas Right to Life and conservative members will be offering amendments on the House floor to rectify the contradictions and loopholes in the bill.
Finally, House Bill 2063 by Dr. Greg Bonnen (R-Galveston) is the lone piece of legislation to likely reach the full Texas House of Representatives that will actually save lives. Although not dealing with abortion, House Bill 2063 finally requires patient or surrogate consent before a doctor or hospital may issue an in-hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate order on most patients. When helping numerous Texas families navigate the draconian 10-day law in the Texas Advance Directives Act, Texas Right to Life has found many instances of unwanted and/or secret DNRs on vulnerable patients. Although not an overhaul of the entire 10-day law allowing withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from patients asking to continue to be treated, House Bill 2063 is a solid Pro-Life step forward in law and takes care of some of the most vulnerable among us. Texas Right to Life commends Dr. Bonnen and his staff for their diligence and commitment to bringing light to this issue.
During this crucial week, Pro-Life Texans can help Texas Right to Life by contacting their state representative and urging him or her to support amendments to House Bill 2962 and House Bill 3771, and to support House Bill 2063 as-is (with no amendments).
Keep up-to-date on the fast and furious pace at the Capitol by following Texas Right to Life on Twitter, Facebook, and at www.TexasRightToLife.com !