Texas Right to Life will release the Pro-Life Scorecard for the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. The Pro-Life Scorecard informs voters across Texas about how their elected officials supported or subverted life-saving efforts in the Capitol during the legislative session.
The Pro-Life Scorecard, released after each legislative session, scores Texas state senators and state representatives on their efforts to advance or thwart Pro-Life legislative measures throughout the session. The scorecard assesses floor votes on Pro-Life bills, as well as votes on important amendments, procedural votes, and public statements of support or opposition. By grading each legislator’s behavior during the most important Pro-Life moments of the session, the Texas Right to Life Pro-Life Scorecard gives voters and grassroots activists a transparent assessment of their elected officials’ stances on Life issues.
Alongside the Pro-Life Scorecard, Texas Right to Life will release two lists to emphasize the scores and reveal who were the Pro-Life Heroes and Disappointments for the year.
The 2017 Pro-Life Heroes include Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Governor Greg Abbott for their leadership in shepherding important Pro-Life reforms through the regular and special sessions. The scorecard also recognizes the Texas House Freedom Caucus, which was instrumental in passing the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Amendment, Texas Right to Life’s priority legislation for the session.
In a Pro-Life state where many candidates campaign on Pro-Life promises, the full-time lobbying staff of Texas Right to Life witnesses firsthand who fulfills commitments to constituents and who sabotages Pro-Life measures in backroom deals. For this reason, the list of 2017 Disappointments consists only of Republicans. These legislators, who almost all campaign on a Pro-Life platform, betray their constituents by publicly advocating Pro-Life values while subverting Pro-Life legislation in Austin.
Many of the 2017 Disappointments, including Byron Cook and J.D. Sheffield, earned their spot on the list in part due to their failure once again to protect all preborn Life. These legislators refused to protect preborn children with potential disabilities from discriminatory late-term abortions. The legislators recognized on the 2017 Disappointments list were also key players in stalling committee decisions and killing Pro-Life bills before they ever reached the floor.
As we approach the primary election season, Texas voters rely on Texas Right to Life for accurate information about how their elected officials performed on Pro-Life issues. Although some legislators who market themselves as Pro-Life may claim they were confused or did not recognize the significance of a certain vote, Texas Right to Life clearly communicated with legislators throughout the session about important Pro-Life votes and how those votes would be reflected in the upcoming scorecard. With these scorecards in hand, legislators must now answer to their voters for their performance on Pro-Life measures in Austin.
The Pro-Life Scorecard for the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature, including the complete list of 2017 Pro-Life Heroes and Disappointments, will be released on Wednesday. Follow Texas Right to Life for more coverage.