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May 30, 2003
Texas House Gives Final Approval to Prenatal Protection Act 
In a tremendous victory for the grass roots pro-life movement in Texas, the Texas House of Representatives gave final approval to the Prenatal Protection Act (SB 319). The May 28th vote on final passage was 112-15.

The Prenatal Protection Act extends personhood to the unborn child from conception through birth, makes it a crime to kill an unborn child against the mother's wishes, and allows parents to sue for the wrongful death of their unborn child. Senator Ken Armbrister (D-18, Victoria) authored SB 319 in the Senate and Rep. Ray Allen (R-106, Grand Prairie) sponsored it in the House. Its passage has been a major goal of all major pro-life organizations in Texas.

Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) offered another hostile amendment intended to significantly weaken the bill by limiting personhood only to unborn babies who are able to live outside the mother's womb. That amendment failed on a vote of 25-87 with four abstentions. Since the House has made some technical changes to SB 319, the Senate must "vote to concur." This will likely occur before Friday. Pro-life Governor Rick Perry is expected to sign it into law. (www.texasallianceforlife.org)

Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, said, "Without a doubt, the success of this and other pro-life bills would not have been possible without the massive grass roots support demonstrated by large numbers of calls into the Capitol."

STOPP Points Out Flaws in Global AIDS Bill 
Despite the positive press releases by pro-life and pro-family groups applauding the inclusion of some funding for abstinence education, a conscience clause allowing faith-based groups to participate in HIV/AIDS prevention programs without being forced to distribute condoms, and a provision that prevents funds from going to groups that support prostitution or sex-trafficking, in President Bush's $15 billion AIDS prevention package for Africa and other countries, Stop Planned Parenthood International (STOPP) issued a May 28th release critical of the plan.

"Celebrating the fact that this bill reserves a third of its prevention funding for abstinence programs is like celebrating the fact that condoms are effective 85% of the time," said Ed Szymkowiak, national director of STOPP International, an American Life League project. "In both cases, you are overlooking the 800-pound gorilla in the corner. Namely, that a substantial portion of the so-called prevention funding is being spent on condoms, which have been proven to be inadequate at protecting against HIV/AIDS."

The release points out that the bill, signed by President Bush on May 27, 2003, in a White House ceremony, does not include the "Mexico City" protections that would prevent funds from being distributed to international organizations that perform or promote abortion. "It is ludicrous to believe that groups such as International Planned Parenthood (IPPF) - which have a vested financial interest in promoting non-marital sexual activity - can be trusted to use such funds to educate Africans to the real answer to the AIDS/HIV epidemic: teaching abstinence until marriage and fidelity in marriage," continued Szymkowiak. "The so-called education done by groups like IPPF encourages promiscuity, which in turn increases the spread of AIDS.

"Despite the best intentions of many pro-family legislators who wanted to steer this bill in the right direction, . . . the American taxpayers deserve better than to have their hard-earned money wasted on tired, old methods that we know will not work." (http://www.stoppinternational.org.)

It should not be overlooked that taxpayer funding of contraception and abortion both at home and abroad, especially in developing countries, has been ingrained in the minds of most members of Congress as well as presidential administrations ever since 1967, when George Herbert Walker Bush, an enthusiastic supporter of Planned Parenthood like his father before him, initiated many successful efforts to achieve U.S. funding of population control programs, beginning with a bill that removed prohibitions on mailing and importing contraceptive devices. During his brief two-term tenure as a congressman, Mr. Bush sponsored the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970. It was co-sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Joseph Tydings of Maryland and signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 24, 1970. The bill authorized the then-huge sum of $382 million for family planning services, population research, education and information through 1973 with much of the money funneled through Planned Parenthood clinics. The Bush-Tydings bill mandated the infamous Title X program through which the taxpayers have been forced to pay for contraceptive/abortion-causing drugs and devices for the poor as well as abortions and treatments for the sexually-transmitted diseases resulting from the corresponding vast increases in sexual promiscuity engaged in by Title X beneficiaries.

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