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June 6, 2003|
Planned Parenthood Bemoans Texas Pro-Life Victories |
Now that both houses of the Texas Legislature are controlled by Republicans, most of whom pledged their support for the pro-life cause during their campaigns, pro-life forces saw the 2003 legislative session end on a decidedly pro-life note, prompting Planned Parenthood to issue a legislative report loaded with angst and dismay.
At the top of their list is the successful effort by Senators Steve Ogden and Tommy Williams to de-fund Planned Parenthood. They attached a rider to the appropriations bill that passed on a party-line vote, and denies funding to any "family planning" agencies that provide abortions. The cost to Planned Parenthood, which operates 12 clinics in Texas, five of which commit abortions, is $13 million.
Another major obstacle placed in the path of the path of the abortion industry by Texas legislators is HB-15, the Informed Consent Bill, which is also on its way to the Governorís desk. The bill, introduced by Rep. Frank Corte and Sen. Tommy Williams, requires a 24-hour waiting period prior to an abortion and the provision of state-mandated printed materials on fetal development to the mother who is contemplating an abortion. Abortionists must also provide information to their clients about the link between abortion and breast cancer. All abortions after 16 weeks gestation must take place in ambulatory surgical centers or hospitals instead of abortion clinics.
Passage of SB 319, the Pre-Natal Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Ken Armbrister and Rep. Ray Allen, has Planned Parenthood citing fears that "it will most certainly be used to lay the groundwork for overturning Roe vs. Wade." The bill establishes civil and criminal penalties for a third party who wrongfully injures or kills an unborn baby in the womb against the motherís wishes, such as in cases of assault, drunk driving, or negligence. Most troublesome for the abortion lobby is the bill language that extends the definition of personhood to include unborn children "at every stage from fertilization until birth."
After more than 30 years of nearly unrelenting resistance to the pro-life cause by liberal Democrats who controlled Texas government, Republicans were finally able to gain majorities in the House and Senate. A pro-life Lieutenant Governor, David Dewhurst, was elected to what is arguably the most powerful elective office in the state, as was Governor Rick Perry, who backs most restrictions on and regulation of abortion. Pro-life political activists worked tirelessly to elect these people to office and, once the session started, leaders of the pro-life and pro-family coalition were in Austin every day working with the legislators to accomplish the passage of these bills. It has been an excellent example of how grassroots activists donít just deliver on Election Day, but follow through to assure progress and accountability.
Texas Alliance for Life, Texas Eagle Forum, Texas Right to Life, Texans for Life Coalition and their members and supporters are to be thanked for their roles in establishing some excellent building blocks for future pro-life action in Texas.
When these bills are signed by Governor Perry and become law, a baby who is waiting to be born will be recognized as an individual human being for the first time since Roe. Mothers will have a chance to really think about it with the proper information in hand before she makes an irrevocable decision to abort. And the taxpayers will no longer be forced into complicity with abortion through their tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood.
To all who made it happen, you have our admiration and gratitude.
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Republican National Coalition for Life Box 618 Alton Illinois 62002|
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