85th Legislature Goals
Here are the issues that Texas Alliance for Life has made a priority for this session and the status of each updated daily. Each will be a significant accomplishment at protecting innocent human life, promoting compassionate alternatives to abortion, and promoting a culture of life. All are strategically crafted to be able to withstand a federal court challenge.
The Texas Legislature is meeting at the state Capitol in Austin through May 29. This is an opportunity to pass strong pro-life laws to better protect innocent human lives from abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.
Ban Partial-Birth Abortions & Sale of Organs and Tissues of Unborn Babies
(SB 8, Schwertner/HB 200, Burkett)
- Shut down Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of baby body parts:
- Ban on partial-birth abortion (identical to the federal ban upheld in Gonzales v. Carhart, 2007), not a ban on dismemberment abortions.
- Ban the sale or donation of tissues and organs after an abortion; ban research on tissues and organs of victims of elective abortion by public and private institutions.
- Require the humane disposition of the bodies of babies who die from abortion. Eliminate inhumane methods including grinding and flushing down sewer systems and disposing of ashes in landfills after incineration.
SB 8 — Passed Senate. Voted favorably from House State Affairs Committee. Passed by House on 3rd reading with amendments on May 20. Set on Senate’s Items Eligible Calendar on May 24.
HB 200 — Voted favorably from House State Affairs Committee; died on House Calendar on May 11.
Humane Treatment of Unborn Babies’ Bodies (SB 258, Huffines & HB 35, Cook)
- Require the humane disposition of the remains of victims of elective abortion; ban grinding and flushing into a sewer system and incineration and disposing the ashes in a landfill.
SB 258 — Passed Senate, received in the House.
HB 35 — Voted favorably from House State Affairs Committee. Language included in SB 8.
Improve Reporting of Abortion Complications (SB 1602, Campbell/HB 2962, Capriglione)
- Increased reporting of abortion complications by providers and by providers of follow-up care (licensed abortion facilities, ASCs, hospitals, stand alone ERs).
SB 1602 — Passed Senate, received in the House.
HB 2962 — Voted favorably from House State Affairs Committee. Passed House on May 12. Received in the Senate. Vote favorably from Senate Health and Human Services Committee on May 19. Passed by Senate on May 24.
Ban Wrongful Birth Lawsuits (SB 25, Creighton/HB 434, Simmons)
- Ban wrongful birth lawsuits, in which parents of a child born with a disability sue the doctor because they feel they were not adequately notified of the disability in time to abortion the child.
SB 25 — Voted favorably from the House State Affairs Committee.
HB 434 — Voted favorably from House State Affairs Committee; died on House calendar on May 11.
Forced Abortions and Sex Trafficking (SB 1377, Buckingham/HB 2858, Burns & HB 2552, S. Thompson)
- Protect woman and girls from forced abortions, especially in the course of human sex trafficking.
SB 1377 — Referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee.
HB 2858 — Voted favorably from House State Affairs Committee; amended onto HB 2552; passed on 3rd reading on May 12. HB 2552 referred to Senate State Affairs Committee. Passed by Senate on 3rd reading with amendments on May 22. HB 2552 conference committee members appointed in House.
Ban DNR Orders without Consent (HB 2063, Greg Bonnen)
- Prohibit do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders without the consent of the patient or surrogate.
HB 2063 — Voted favorably from House State Affairs Committee; died on House Calendar on May 11.
Promote Alternatives to Abortion through Self Sufficiency (SB 1)
- HHSC D.1.2 STRATEGY: ALTERNATIVES TO ABORTION
SB 1 (House version) — Funding level increased to ~$19,000,000/yr.
SB 1 (Senate version) — Funding level maintained at ~$9,150,000/yr.
Currently being considered in a conference committee.
Defund Planned Parenthood / Stop State and Local Abortion Subsidies (SB 855, Campbell/HB 1936, Springer)
- Prohibit state and local governments from entering into contracts with abortion providers or affiliates.
SB 855 — Referred to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.
HB 1936 — Voted favorably from House State Affairs Committee; died on House Calendar on May 11.
Conscience Protection for Foster Care Providers (SB 892, Perry/HB 3859, Frank)
- Allows foster care providers to follow their sincerely held religious beliefs to not provide or refer for abortion.
SB 892 — Hearing in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on April 19; left pending.
HB 3859 — Voted favorably from House State Affairs Committee. Passed House on 3rd reading on May 12. Received by the Senate. Passed Senate on 3rd reading on May 22.
Enhanced Penalties for Assault of a Pregnant Woman (HB 3539, Landgraf)
- Provide greater protection to pregnant woman by increasing penalties for assault of a pregnant woman.
HB 3539 — Voted favorably from House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
Protect Victims of Rape (SB 77, Nelson/HB 1766, Alvarado)
- Easier termination of paternity rights of a rapist.
SB 77 — Passed Senate; pass House on 3rd reading on May 8. Signed by the Governor on May 19.
HB 1766 — Voted favorably from House Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee; postponed to House Calendar on May 6; postponed indefinitely in lieu of movement of SB 77.
Remove Mandatory Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Plans (SB 20, Larry Taylor/HB 1113, Smithee & HB 3124, Gooden)
- Remove mandatory coverage for elective abortion in health insurance plans.
SB 20 — Passed Senate; received in the House; Voted favorable from House State Affairs Committee May 16. Language amended to HB 3124 on May 22. HB 3124 passed on 3rd reading with amendments on May 24.
HB 1113 — Hearing in House State Affairs Committee held on May 3; left pending.
Definition of Ectopic Pregnancy (HB 3771, Cook)
- Ensures treatment for ectopic pregnancy is not reported as abortion.
HB 3771 — Voted favorably from House State Affairs Committee; House passed on 3rd reading on May 12. Received by Senate. Hearing in Senate State Health and Human Services Committee. Recommended for Senate Local and Uncontested Calendar. Language included in SB 8.
Prevent Destruction of Human Embryos (HB 785, Raney)
- Encourage adoption of human embryos as an alternative to destruction or indefinite freezing.
HB 785 — Passed House. Received in Senate. Passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on May 17. Passed by Senate on 3rd Reading on May 22.
Campaign Finance and Ethics
- Require corporations to report donors of large contributions for political ads.
Pitfalls to Avoid Because They Will Not Withstand a Federal Court Challenge
- Avoid “[u]necessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion or impose an undue burden on that right.” (Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 1992.)
* Ban on abortions before “viability” of the unborn child (~23 weeks). (HB 948, Tinderholt)
* Ban on “dismemberment abortions.” (SB 415, Perry/HB 844, Klick)
This list is not exhaustive and is subject to change.
Leg. ad. paid for by Texas Alliance for Life