Since 2013, Texas has fallen thirteen spots (thirteen!) from being the 4th most Pro-Life state in America to the 17th. With a majority of state lawmakers professing Pro-Life views, Texas’ dismal drop is telling.
Lack of focused, cohesive, clear leadership opens the path to disjointed, if not conciliatory, mediocrity with an absence of urgency. Although Texas Right to Life has been aggressive in pushing Pro-Life policies, the leadership of the Texas House has blocked substantial policies and passed only symbolic, Pro-Life-sounding bills that do nothing to stop abortion.
While Texas dropping in the rankings of Pro-Life states may shock some, Texas Right to Life sees the smoke and mirrors and posturing that has caused the decline. For example, most of the Republicans in the state legislature and a handful of Democrats vote Pro-Life and share our values regarding the sanctity of human Life. And yet, these same lawmakers were forced to mar our Pro-Life achievements by accepting a loophole (from House leadership) in our laws that does not protect unborn children with disabilities.
On the one hand, our Pro-Life achievements are envied across the nation, and on the other, not all unborn children enjoy the same protections in the womb. A closer look shows that hospitalized patients in Texas remain at risk of death by hospital committee, which Sarah Palin astutely labeled “death panels.”
During this current 2017 85th Session of the Texas Legislature, Pro-Life lawmakers must pass measures that not only reduce the number of abortions committed in Texas, but also undermine the legal basis of Roe v. Wade. Real Pro-Life laws include these two components plus a third that draws attention to the humanity of the unborn child. These are the type of real Pro-Life laws that earned Texas that highly coveted 4th most Pro-Life state in the nation not too long ago.
But window-dressing measures (such as license plates) and feel good bills (like trafficking awareness with no enforcement) do nothing to advance the Pro-Life cause because such bills merely reflect our Pro-Life values, but do not stop abortion or offer new protections for pregnant women. And not all bills that deal with pregnant women have a Pro-Life purpose. Bills that discuss pregnant inmates are important health and safety measures, but these bills do not address abortion, and cannot be considered relevant to the Pro-Life cause. Yet House leadership spends time and political capital on these non-controversial “nice” bills while turning away from real Pro-Life bills that protect real, unborn children. This is why Texas has fallen to 17.
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban (SB 415 & HB 844) prohibits a certain specific, gruesome abortion procedure, protects pregnant women, drives the cultural conversation about the child being victimized, and deals another blow to Roe. The dismemberment abortion procedure is the preferred method to maximize the sale of the body parts of victims of abortion. As an added benefit, outlawing dismemberment abortions curtails the profit margin of these abortion clinics that mutilate the little bodies of these children and their vulnerable mothers.
This type of legislation would actually save lives and more. This is the type of real Pro-Life bill that will put Texas back in the enviable top 10. Our Lone Star State leads in many areas of economics, education, protecting faith and freedoms, but not on Life…anymore. The leadership of the Texas House has significantly contributed to the decline of Texas’ national rankings in protecting innocent human Life. When Texas fails to pass, actual life-saving bills, all Texans suffer. Babies die.