Yesterday, Texas Right to Life’s Legislative Director John Seago stood with Texas Values, Texas Eagle Forum, and other Texas leaders for a press conference on the amicus briefs they are submitting to the Supreme Court of the United States in support of House Bill 2. The Supreme Court will consider a challenge to certain provisions of HB 2, the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013, on March 2.
Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, opened the press conference and summarized the brief his organization submitted with 3801 Lancaster: An American Tragedy Film Project. Jen Brown, the producer of 3801 Lancaster: An American Tragedy also spoke at the press conference about the film, which details the case of abortionist Kermit Gosnell who ran a filthy and inhumane abortion mill in Philadelphia in which he killed born-alive infants and injured countless women. Saenz said that HB 2 contains “commonsense health and safety standards that women and children deserve,” and which were drafted in response to the revelations of the Gosnell case.
The author of HB 2, Representative Jodie Laubenberg, echoed Saenz’s words. Rep. Laubenberg discussed the provisions outlined by the grand jury in the Gosnell case that the Texas Legislature emulated in crafting their Pro-Life Omnibus Bill. Some of these health and safety standards are being challenged by the abortion industry. Specifically, the Supreme Court will consider the ambulatory surgical center requirements and the requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at an area hospital. Rep. Laubenberg stated that if such provisions had been in place, Gosnell might not have been able to continue his horrific and illegal practices for so long.
At the press conference John Seago stated, “Texas Right to Life was proud to work with Representative Laubenberg in passing HB 2.” Texas Right to Life filed an amicus brief with Texas Eagle Forum affirming the necessity and rational basis of the provisions of HB 2 being challenged. Regarding the challenge by Whole Women’s Health, he said the abortion industry is “fighting tooth and nail” against the commonsense safety standards. Seago argued that the importance of the case is that the Supreme Court will likely clarify the vague and undefined notion of undue burden, with which the abortion industry has challenged every major Pro-Life legislative effort since the Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling. The Supreme Court’s decision on HB 2, therefore, sets a roadmap for the regulations that other states can pass on the abortion industry in efforts to protect women and to protect preborn life.
Along with other speakers, Seago noted that the entire abortion industry has not challenged the law. Some abortion mills are already following ambulatory surgical center standards, notably Planned Parenthood which is not a party in the lawsuit. If the court were to rule in favor of Whole Women’s Health, they would essentially be sanctioning a “slacker’s veto:” all the abortion industry would have to do is threaten to close their doors in response to any health and safety standard in order to overturn the measure. Such precedence seems unlikely, and Texas Right to Life is hopeful that the high court will rule in favor of the commonsense health and safety standards of HB 2.
Texas Right to Life will continue to follow developments as the court considers the amicus briefs and moves to consider HB 2 on March 2.
Watch the press conference in entirety here: