Today begins a new era in Texas. Dozens of abortion facilities have closed or ceased performing abortions rather than upgrade to the new safety regulations. Only seven remain compared to 39 a year ago.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Thursday to allow House Bill 2 to go fully into effect as that court considers an appeal of the lower federal court’s ruling to strike down key components of HB 2. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Lakey, several abortion providers seek to strike down key provisions of HB 2. While no one can say how the 5th Circuit will ultimately rule, the Court did say that – regarding a facial challenge to the key provisions – the State “is likely to succeed,” not the abortion providers.
Many elected officials deserve thanks:
First, Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and Speaker Joe Straus. Without their leadership HB 2 would not be a reality.
Then HB 2’s author, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, and Senate sponsor, Sen. Glenn Hegar. They led the many hours of debate on HB 2 on the House and Senate floors.
Third, the chairs of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Sen. Jane Nelson, and the House State Affairs Committee, Rep. Byron Cook. Both assured that HB 2 reached the Senate and House floors in a timely manner free of points of order, despite thousands of opponents who tried to disrupt the process.
Sen. Dan Patrick authored the component of HB 2 that increases safety standards for drug-induced abortions (using RU-486) by requiring the drugs be administered according to the FDA protocol in the presence of the abortion doctor. Texas Alliance for Life’s political action committee has endorsed Sen. Patrick for Lt. Governor, and that endorsement is well deserved.
Sen. Bob Deuell authored the component to increase safety standards at licensed abortion facilities to the level of ambulatory surgical centers, ASCs. We believe he deserves special praise for his successful efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in previous sessions.
Rep. Cindy Burkett authored the component that requires abortion doctors to have privileges at nearby hospitals.
And Sen. Hegar authored the component that bans abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy.
Of course, all 19 senators and 96 representatives who voted to make HB 2 the law of Texas deserve enormous credit.
Our gratitude also goes to Attorney General Greg Abbott (whom our political action committee has endorsed for Governor) and his extremely effective legal team headed by his Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell for their defense of HB 2.
What does the future hold? The unfortunate reality is that abortion will remain readily available in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio for the foreseeable future. That is where the seven remaining ASC abortion facilities are located. These monsters collectively have enormous capacity to perform tens of thousands of abortions annually, probably more than ample for the 68,000 annual abortions in Texas. Abby Johnson, the former director of the now-closed Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Bryan, has said Planned Parenthood’s abortion ASC in Houston was designed to perform 75 abortions a day, six days a week. That corresponds to a frightening 23,400 abortions a year.
Nevertheless, abortion totals will likely drop compared to before HB 2, just as abortions dropped with the implementation of the Sonogram Law two years ago. The pro-life movement can now focus our lifesaving efforts of prayer and sidewalk counseling at seven rather than dozens of locations. And abortions at ASCs are less likely to be performed in a manner that endangers the health and safety of women. All of these are important to the pro-life movement, which cares for mothers and babies.
Today we celebrate this unprecedented pro-life victory. Tomorrow we resume our efforts to change hearts and save lives.
8 Responses to “A New Era in Texas”
This is MURDER – Plain & simple ! And should be shut down completely !!!
This is the bill Wendy Davis filibustered against to try to keep it from being voted on!! She claimed to be protecting women’s rights. Gained her much popularity now she thinks she can be governor!! Texas voters be sure you show her you support life!! Not her ill-placed ambition !
The pro-life movement can now focus our lifesaving efforts of prayer and sidewalk counseling
Hahahaha. Oh so prayer saves lives… not science or doctors or research or anything of substance with proven effects. I am happy to hear of health regulations coming in to play- because science/medicine saves lives. Not talking to a sky – stuck Santa Claus.
Like abortion saves life? What I know it kills one and killed mothers along too. Abortion is not safe.
Good news. Must continue
Love to see those CLOSED signs on the abortion clinics!!
Praise God! Prayer works especially when there seems to be no way.
While I do not agree with late term abortion I do not agree with abortion up to 12 weeks I am pro-choice my question to all of you is you guys say that yes this is a victory but what about the women that cannot afford the social economic aspects of all these babies that are going to be born to these mothers that cannot afford them and they will sit there starving in their own homes living a life of suffering. The same people that fight close the abortion clinics also fight to shut down welfare programs. I worked very hard and have four children myself so I do not take abortion lightly for myself nor do I agree with abortion to be used as birth control however up until 12 weeks is my only stance that I have in the pro-choice movement and I do fear for all the babies that are going to be born to the women that cannot afford to keep them but will now because they don’t have an option to go to the clinic to get the procedure and the children that are now going to suffer because the mothers cannot afford to care for them properly that terrifies me.