And as usual there was the polarity between uncompromisingly anti-abortion Texas Right to Life, which backed Harrison, and the more centrist and speaker-friendly Texas Alliance for Life, which again endorsed Wray. The average voter may not understand the nuances between the major pro-life advocacy groups, but it does show the ideological/strategic differences that may exist between the top candidates.
A statement from Texas Alliance for Life last night…
Today the Texas Senate gave final approval to the Human Life Protection Act, HB 1280 — one of Texas Alliance for Life’s top priorities — on an 19 to 12 vote. The House passed HB 1280 on an 81 to 61 vote on May 6. The bill now goes to Governor Greg Abbott who is expected to sign it into law.
The Human Life Protection Act is a complete ban on abortion, beginning at conception (fertilization), that goes into effect when and to the extent the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Texas joins 10 states who have passed similar measures.
Sen. Angela Paxton (R-McKinney) is the Senate sponsor of HB 1280, and Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) is the House author. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made the Human Life Protection Act one of his priority bills, assigning the low number SB 9 to the Senate bill, which was authored by Sen. Paxton.
HB 1280 is also supported by the State Republican Executive Committee and several other major pro-life organizations, including the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, Texans for Life Coalition, West Texans for Life, and others.
The passage of the Human Life Protection Act is especially significant in light of the recent announcement that the United States Supreme Court will consider the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case in its next term. That case involves “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” Viability occurs as early as 22-23 weeks in pregnancy, meaning the State of Texas is currently prohibited from protecting tens of thousands of unborn babies from abortion every year who have substantial prenatal development. A decision in that case is expected in June 2022.
“We are extremely pleased at the passage of HB 1280. We commend Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dade Phelan and thank those Senate and House members who supported this landmark bill,” said Dr. Joe Pojman, Texas Alliance for Life’s executive director. “To whatever extent the Supreme Court allows states to protect unborn babies from abortion — whether at 15 weeks, six weeks, or at conception — the Human Life Protection Act will go into effect to the same extent.”
However, as Dr. Joe Pojman of the Texas Alliance for Life pointed out, options are plenty in the Austin area for pregnant women.
“There are more than 20 wonderful agencies in the greater Austin area that help a woman who has a crisis pregnancy with alternatives to abortion, including adoption,” Pojman said. “We would have preferred the council spend the money to help low-income women utilize these life-affirming agencies.”
A link to those resources is available here: PregnancyCentralTexas.com.
“This bill will restore protection to unborn children, beginning at fertilization, by banning abortion when and to the extent that the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade,” according to a statement from Texas Alliance for Life. The Tennessee Legislature approved a similar measure on Tuesday.