March 18, 2017


March 18, 2017

Joe Pojman, Ph.D.
512.477.1244 (o)

AUSTIN — On Wednesday, March 15, the Texas Senate passed its first pro-life bill of the 85th Legislature when it gave final approval to SB 8 to ban partial-birth abortion. SB 8 also bans the sale or donation of tissues and organs after abortion and thereby bans research on those tissues and organs. SB 8 passed on a bipartisan 24-6 vote.

The bill is authored by pro-life Senator Charles Schwertner M.D. (R-Georgetown), who has received Texas Alliance for Life’s “Courageous Defense of Life” award, and Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has made SB 8 one of his top 10 priorities by giving it a very low bill number.

SB 8 and the House companion HB 200 authored by Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale) are critical parts of pro-life Governor Greg Abbott’s LIFE Initiative. “The butchering of unborn babies for trade in the open market is barbaric. Sen. Schwertner and Rep. Burkett, I want legislation on my desk that criminalizes the sale or donation of baby body parts,” he said in his 2017 State of the State Address in January.

The bills are also supported by a coalition of major pro-life organizations, including the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, Texans for Life Coalition, and Texas Alliance for Life.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to see this bill move so quickly out of the Senate with bipartisan support,” said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life. “This is a major pro-life victory. Texas needs SB 8 to shut down Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and sale or donation of baby body parts in Texas.”

A lengthy letter dated December 7, 2016, from the Select Investigative Panel of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce referred a Houston abortion doctor, whose name is redacted, to Attorney General Ken Paxton for violations of the federal partial-birth abortion ban describing allegations that a Texas abortion doctor has performed numerous “terminations of partially delivered infants.”

Next Wednesday, the House State Affairs Committee, chaired by pro-life Representative Byron Cook, will consider HB 200.

Supporting SB 8:

Paul Bettencourt (R), Brian Birdwell (R), Dawn Buckingham (R), Konni Burton (R), Donna Campbell (R), Brandon Creighton (R), Craig Estes (R), Kel Seliger (R), Bob Hall (R), Kelly Hancock (R), Chuy Hinojosa (D), Donald Huffines (R), Joan Huffman (R), Bryan Hughes (R), Lois Kolkhorst (R), Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D), Jane Nelson (R), Robert Nichols (R), Charles Perry (R), Charles Schwertner (R), Larry Taylor (R), Van Taylor (R), Carlos Uresti (D), Judith Zaffirini (D)

Opposing SB 8:

Sylvia Garcia (D), Borris Miles (D), Jose Rodriguez (D), Kirk Watson (D), Royce West (D), John Whitmire (D)


Jose Menendez (D)

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