This week the much-anticipated Pro-Life Scorecard was released, beginning the rollout of individual votes, backgrounds, and explanations. Within minutes, legislators and their staff were checking scores, wondering how much of a hit they took for “that one bad vote.” Typically, House leadership prevents most of the Pro-Life bills from reaching the floor, thus preventing many record votes on the topic. Although the same games were played this year, Governor Abbott placed many Pro-Life priority items on the call for the special legislative session. With the help of Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and the Texas House Freedom Caucus, we saw many Pro-Life record votes (and victories) for Texas.
Many themes unfolded during the regular and special legislative sessions: the obstructionism of House Leadership, the Freedom Caucus relentlessly pushing for Pro-Life successes in the House, and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick tirelessly shepherding several Pro-Life bills through the state Senate. The scorecards reflect the story of the session and who helped and hurt the Pro-Life cause. Although almost every Republican in the Texas legislature will go back to their districts claiming their Pro-Life convictions, this tool is important for you, the voter, to hold them accountable to their campaign promises.
The collective averages of certain groups are illuminating. Taking the entire chambers together, the Texas House averaged 61%, and the Texas Senate averaged 67%. This is not surprising, considering all anti-Life Democrats are included in that count and we know the Texas Senate led the way in pushing substantial Pro-Life reforms.
|Average Pro-Life Score for Senate||Average Pro-Life Score for House|
However, when you isolate the Republican scores for each chamber, you see the Senate Republicans with a collective perfect score, averaging 100%. House Republicans fell to a 93% average of all votes taken.
|Average Pro-Life Score for Senate Republicans||Average Pro-Life Score for House Republicans|
Further inspection of the House will show you that Joe Straus’ House leadership ranks, or committee chairmen, averaged a 63%. Meanwhile, the 12-member House Freedom Caucus, which fought for every Pro-Life win this session, averaged 100%.
|Average Pro-Life Score for House Freedom Caucus||Average Pro-Life Score for House Committee Chairs|
One of the most telling and distressing votes of the session was on an amendment by Honorable Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) to stop the abortions of preborn children after 20 weeks simply because they had disabilities. Other Texas children are protected from abortion after 20 weeks, and Representative Schaefer attempted to extend the same protections to this defenseless population. Many Republicans who campaign as Pro-Life voted against protecting these vulnerable preborn children. A vote against this crucial amendment carried a significant penalty on the scorecard, underscoring to voters the disparity between campaign claims and action.
Even though we’ve only released the numerical scores, Republican-In-Name-Only legislators will try to veneer the low scores before constituents see the content of their votes. On Monday, October 2, we will publish each legislator’s full Pro-Life voting record at TexasRightToLife.com/Legislative-Scores. Consult the record and judge for yourself: Did your legislators adequately protect Life this session?