Austin, Texas- January 10, 2017: Today marks the first day of the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature. Since the final days of the last legislature in 2015, Texas Right to Life has prepared for these next 140 days. Texas Right to Life’s legislative team has worked with national experts, statewide leaders, and Pro-Life legislators to craft the Pro-Life agenda for 2017.
Texas Right to Life’s legislative team includes: Elizabeth Graham, Director; John Seago, Legislative Director; Emily Horne, Senior Legislative Associate; and Emily Kebodeaux Cook, Esq., General Counsel and Political Director.
Our team meets with as many representatives and senators as possible, even those who support abortion, to discuss the Pro-Life priority bills. We host several educational events for legislators and Capitol staff covering Pro-Life issues. Additionally, our legislative team monitors all bills, watching for opportunities to add Pro-Life amendments and to alert elected officials of measures hostile to Life or hostile to free speech.
During this 85th Session, we will defend the most vulnerable. The priority Pro-Life bill, as agreed on by a consensus of statewide leaders and Pro-Life legislators, is the Dismemberment Abortion Ban (SB 415 & HB 844). Thousands of preborn children are subjected to the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortion, during which they are alive and feel the torturous pain of being ripped limb from limb. Texas Right to Life developed this policy over the course of two years with elected officials in response to video documentation from inside abortion facilities. The video documentation exposed how this procedure is used to maximize the profit from selling the organs and tissue of the aborted children.
The Pro-Life agenda for the 85th Session also includes patient consent for Do-Not-Resuscitate orders, repealing and replacing the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA), Pro-Life health insurance reform (SB 20), and the Preborn Non-Discrimination Act (PreNDA).
Throughout the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature, Texas Right to Life will hold our elected officials accountable by communicating with constituents across the state about who is helping and who is hurting the Pro-Life cause in the State Capitol. The lives of the preborn, hospitalized patients, and individuals with disabilities depend on the laws our legislators pass between now and Memorial Day. We cannot afford to pursue feel-good, do-nothing, symbolic ‘life-affirming’ laws when real lives are at stake. Texas Right to Life urges Pro-Life Texans to contact their legislators through our website to show support for the Dismemberment Abortion Ban and other legislation that will save lives and stop attacks on innocent human Life.