According to a recent analysis, Texas fell to 10th place on the list of most Pro-Life states in 2014. That’s down four spots from the previous year. The analysis accounted for each state’s treatment of abortion, preborn and newborn children, imposed death (assisted suicide), and conscience rights of medical and science professionals. The most recent events related to these issues were also factored into the analysis of each state.
The analysis did not factor in Texas’ singular, draconian anti-Life law, the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA). Cases of denial of treatment for hospitalized Texans were also not factored into the rating. Thus, while Texas is somewhat more Pro-Life than other states in terms of our treatment of preborn Lives, Texas would have taken a definite plunge if the review had been comprehensive.
A number of policies and protections have earned Texas a reputation of being a Pro-Life state. These include our protection of the preborn after 20 weeks’ gestation (whereas federal law permits abortion through all nine months of pregnancy). This protection is, however, curtailed by loopholes which allow the elective killing of late-gestation babies diagnosed with a fetal “anomaly,” and those whose mothers’ lives are determined to be endangered by continuation of the pregnancy (even though abortion is never directly necessary to save a woman’s life). Texas also has strong informed consent laws (Mothers are given A Woman’s Right to Know booklet, information about the breast cancer-abortion link and fetal development, and an ultrasound prior to an elective abortion).
Texas has also maintained consistency in regulating the abortion industry with the same level of scrutiny as is imposed on medical professionals. Furthermore, Texas recognizes the right to medical care of all children born alive in Texas, including those born after a failed abortion, and criminalizes the non-abortion assault or killing of babies in the womb. The analysis also noted that Texas limits Medicaid coverage of elective abortion and has made strides in prohibiting state agencies from contracting with abortion affiliates for the provision of non-abortion services. The state protects the rights of medical professionals to conscientiously object to participating in the commission of abortion.
Why the drop?
Pro-Life elected officials have worked valiantly to pass more comprehensive, life-saving legislation in recent years. However, Republicans-In-Name-Only (RINOs), led by House Speaker Joe Straus, have maintained a hostile attitude toward these strides, using their power to defy the wishes of the Pro-Life majority and hold the Texas Legislature hostage. RINO Byron Cook snubbed his nose at the preborn, abusing his power as the chair of the House Committee on State Affairs to postpone crucial hearings and votes to the end of the session – knowing full well that the clock would run out on the life-saving bills.
In fact, during the 2013 session, these despicable antics thwarted every single Pro-Life bill introduced into the Texas Legislature. The landmark passage of House Bill 2 (the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill of the 2013 Legislative Session) did not occur until a special session called by Governor Rick Perry after the regular session’s dismal conclusion. The following session, in 2015, Joe Straus again showed his apathetic stance and blocked five priority Pro-Life bills.
Preborn Texans quite literally will not survive another term under Joe Straus. Fortunately, dethroning Straus will upend his entire network of anti-Life pawns within the Texas Legislature. As long as RINOs and rogue Austin-based Life organizations willfully elect to play political games in lieu of passing real Pro-Life protections, the strong majority of Texans will remain deadlocked against the powers of a political ruling class. And our national rank will continue to suffer.