Texas Right to Life spearheaded the effort to reallocate $61 million of family planning, a revenue stream for the abortion industry, to other more worthy programs when the State House of Representatives debated the state’s budget on Friday, April 1st. All eight of the amendments to redirect this blood money passed overwhelmingly (the highest vote total the pro-abortion opposition garnered was 40), and the final amendment earned 113 votes to snatch the last $9 million! Federal law prohibits further reductions, but this 37% blow will severely hurt the abortion industry.
The programs to which the money was allocated were strategically selected based on the cuts to their budgets. Some pro-abortion members of the House were livid that their Pro-Life colleagues forced votes on record between the abortion industry and children with autism, adults with mental health needs, etc. While passions rose and tempers flared once the abortion advocates realized what was happening, the Pro-Life amendment sponsors remained compassionate, confident, and courteous.
State Representative Randy Weber (R-Pearland) led with the first amendment to restore funding to the state’s program for alternatives to abortion. Despite the opposition spewing the same old scripted lies, Representative Weber’s amendment won by 100 to 44 with two present, not voting. Representative Wayne Christian (R-Center) then transferred family planning funds to serve people with autism. The Christian amendment passed by 106 to 34 with all present Republicans voting “yes,” plus three Democrats (Lozano, Martinez, and Muñoz).
Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) offered the third amendment that redirected funds to the Mental Health Services for Children Program. After a strong and respectful defense by Representative Bohac, his amendment passed by 96 to six with 44 present, not voting. Representative Jim Murphy (R-Houston) was next and moved funds to EMS and Trauma Care. He was well-prepared with statistics and details about emergency medical services, and his amendment passed by 91 to 20 with 25 present, not voting.
Representative Sid Miller (R-Stephenville), also the sponsor of the sonogram bill, presented the largest amendment to move $21 million from family planning to Early Childhood Intervention programs. Representative Miller earned 104 votes, was opposed by 37, and five were present and not voting. Representative Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) delivered yet another victory with his amendment that restored some funds to services for the deaf, blind, and those with multiple disabilities. His amendment passed by 101 to 38 with five present, not voting.
Representative Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) successfully offered a provision that could restrict the way some of the remaining family planning funds are disbursed. Representative Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker) snatched the last $9 million away from the abortion industry, the cherry on the dessert. She would not leave that last $9 million on the table and even won over Representative Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas), who usually supports abortion rights but wanted to increase funds to the STAR program to reach at-risk youth.
The sum total of the amendments successfully passed by our Pro-Life heroes equals a $61 million blow to the abortion advocates in Texas! The budget bill still has to be debated and passed by the State Senate, but we anticipate the senators will preserve the House’s overwhelmingly supported Pro-Life amendments, which were also supported and called for by our Pro-Life Governor Rick Perry. We are so proud that so many Pro-Life elected officials stand with Texas Right to Life to restore the sanctity of innocent human life.