Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life responded to a request from The Texan to comment on Texas’ pro-life accomplishments in the 2019 legislature.
Pojman said, “We view this as a successful session highlighted by the passing of HB16, The Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, SB 22 to defund Planned Parenthood at the local level, and increased funding for compassionate alternatives to abortion.”
HB 16 would require a physician to preserve the life and health of a child born alive after an abortion, just as they would to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. The bill includes a requirement that the physician who performed or attempted the abortion immediately transfers the born alive child to a hospital.
A physician who fails to provide the appropriate medical treatment to a child born alive after an abortion would be liable to the state for a civil penalty of at least $100,000. The attorney general would also be authorized to bring a suit to collect the penalty as well.
But not all pro-life advocates see this as a major win.
Kimberlyn Schwartz, media director with Texas Right to Life, was tempered in her characterization of HB 16.
She said, “Although symbolizing pro-life values, HB 16 does not stop abortion.”
SB 22 was enacted to prohibit taxpayer dollars at both the state and local level from being used to fund abortion facilities and affiliates. Exemptions are made for licensed hospitals, licensed physician offices that perform fewer than 50 abortions per year, state hospitals, teaching hospitals, and accredited residency programs.
Both Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life view SB 22 as a noteworthy pro-life victory.
Pojman also mentioned SB 24, which ensures women receive information on alternatives to abortion, and HB 902 which increase penalties for assaulting pregnant women, as significant wins.