Texas Alliance for Life PAC has endorsed Rep. Debbie Riddle for re-election, and we strongly urge voters in House District 150 to support her.
In our view Debbie Riddle is a pro-life champion. She helped make 2015 one of the most successful pro-life sessions in the history of Texas.
With her help, the Texas Legislature:
- Defunded Planned Parenthood by $1.3 million per year (HB 1),
- Protected minor girls from secret abortions without parental consent (HB 3994),
- Protected patients from euthanasia by starvation and dehydration (HB 3074),
- Protected victims of sex trafficking at abortion facilities (HB 416),
- Protected babies with Down syndrome from abortion (HB 3374), and
- Increased funds for loving alternatives to abortion by 78%.
Those are just the highlights. Here is a lengthy list of 11 significant gains achieved in 2015 that makes Texas one of only three states to earn the title “Life List All Star” from Americans United for Life.
Not only did she support each of those measures, Rep. Riddle sat on the powerful House Calendars Committee that scheduled each to be considered on the House floor.
HB 416: Protecting Victims of Sex Trafficking at Abortion Facilities
In fact, Debbie Riddle authored HB 416 and successfully navigated it through the House. That groundbreaking bill — to require all abortion facility staff and volunteers to undergo training to identify and assist victims of human trafficking — is the only one of its kind in the nation. It will save the lives of babies and protect women from forced abortions. Despite facing opposition from some liberal members in a House committee hearing, Rep. Riddle, who has strong credentials as an advocate for victims of sex trafficking, was able to get HB 416 passed in the full House unanimously, an impressive feat.
The sex trafficking issue is particularly difficult to address. Many victims of sex trafficking are in grave danger because the person forcing them to abort their unborn child is likely present in the abortion facility waiting room. Alerting that trafficker that he has been reported to law enforcement puts the victim, her family, and even the abortion facility staff in an even greater risk. Also, some victims — both women and girls — are not even aware they are victims of trafficking and view their activities as a lifestyle choice.
Thanks to Rep. Riddle’s innovative pro-life bill, all abortion facility workers and even volunteers will have to go through the same training as law enforcement officers.
We are disappointed by a false claim made by Texas Right to Life, whose political action committee, heavily funded by a West Texas billionaire, has endorsed one of Rep. Riddle’s opponents in the Republican Primary Election. In a recent article on their website they called HB 416 “entirely lacking substance” and wrote:
There were no penalties for violations, no enforcement mechanism to ensure workers and volunteers were actually trained, no requirements that abortion clinics keep records of who had received training and when.
The claim could not be further from the truth. The Department of State Health Services, which regulates abortion facilities, has already threatened to fine, suspend the license, or even shut down abortion facilities that do not comply with HB 416.
The department’s rules will allow for enforcement action which will require that facility enter into a corrective action plan to describe how and when the facility will come into compliance and also reference the range of enforcement actions that can be taken in response to the facility’s non-compliance and/or its failure to come into compliance. The range of enforcement actions includes administrative penalties, suspension or revocation.
In an unfortunate website article written by John Seago, one of their lobbyists, Texas Right to Life also made a false claim that Debbie Riddle deliberately voted “to defeat” a pro-life bill to take abortion coverage out of health insurance plans. The bill, SB 575, was strongly supported by Texas Alliance for Life.
The reality is very different, because the bottom line is that Rep. Riddle voted to set SB 575 on the agenda for debate as quickly as possible. Very late in the session and very late in the evening after a grueling day, the Calendars Committee met to set the agenda for last day the House could consider Senate bills. At that meeting, Rep. Riddle did accidentally vote to not set SB 575 for debate. A short time later, however, after she realized her mistake, Rep. Riddle corrected it by voting to have the bill considered on the House floor at the next possible opportunity. There was no harm done because the bill was placed on the “Major State Calendar” for priority bills, the same agenda on the same day as if she voted to set it the first time. In no way did she “defeat” the bill. (It did not pass the House, but not for any reason related to Rep. Riddle’s votes.)
Courageous Defense of Life Award
We and many other pro-life leaders in Texas think very highly of Rep. Debble Riddle. Because of her pro-life leadership, we gave her our “Courageous Defense of Life” award. You can read more in this article: https://www.texasallianceforlife.org/courageous-defenders-of-life/
We need her in Austin to continue to fight for the rights of unborn babies and to continue to defund Planned Parenthood.
Pd. Pol. Ad. by Texas Alliance for Life PAC