Principal Priorities

Priority One

Human Life Protection Act (trigger ban) — a complete ban on abortion beginning at fertilization that coordinates with the Supreme Court (goes into effect when and to the extent the Court overturns Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.)

Ten states have passed essentially the same laws: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah.

Senator Paxton and Representative Capriglione will author this bill. They introduced similar bills in the 86th Session (SB 2160, HB 1685, and HB 2350).
Ten states have passed “heartbeat” abortion bans. None are operative because they have been blocked by federal or state courts.

We note that several times the Supreme Court has already conferenced (considered) a challenge to Mississippi’s ban on pre-viable abortions (beginning at 15 weeks) but has not announced whether it will grant or deny certiorari. The case is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392 (2020).

If the Court upholds the 15-week ban or the heartbeat ban, the Human Life Protection Act would go into effect to that extent.

Priority Two

Enhance our state’s RU 486 safety regulations so that drug-induced abortions maintain adequate safety protections if the federal courts or the Biden Administration block the FDA’s regulations.

May allow abortions without a sonogram or physician involvement.

Drug-induced abortions (RU 486) are already the second most common method of abortion (40%).

Even under the best of circumstances, drug-induced abortions result in four times more complications for women than surgical abortions, according to a highly credible study published by the ACOG. If the FDA regulations — including the ban on mail-order abortions — are rendered inoperative by a federal court or by the Biden Administration Texas could see a huge spike in abortions and in complications from abortions.

Other Priorities

⦁ Conscience protection for medical residents so they are not coerced into performing abortions as part of their training.

The bill should include: (A) notification that federal and state law allows residents the option to participate, as part of their training, in either elective abortion or alternative training, and (B) explicit “opt-in” to participate in elective abortions.

⦁ Fix last session’s SB 22 to fully implement the intent of the Legislature so that the City of Austin and other political subdivisions may not pay for “abortion services” (transportation, housing, child care, etc.) to help women obtain abortions at taxpayer expense.

The City of Austin has appropriated $250,000 to fund organizations that assist women (including minor girls) to obtain abortions but not funding the abortions. The grantees — Jane’s Due Process, Fund Texas Choice, and Mama Sana Vibrant Women — are not abortion providers or affiliates of abortion providers and are not excluded by SB 22.

Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) and Rep. Candy Noble (R-Lucas) will author the bills.

⦁ Continue to fund the Alternatives to Abortion program at the current or increased rate ($40 M/year) in the biennial budget.

⦁ Maintain and improve the dispute resolution process in the Texas Advance Directives Act.

In 1999 the Texas Legislature unanimously passed and Gov. George W. Bush signed the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA). While rarely used, that law provides a process to resolve disputes regarding medical interventions for terminally ill patients. This law balances the family’s autonomy regarding end-of-life medical decisions with a physician’s conscience right to not order medically inappropriate interventions to prolong a patient’s death that cause pain and suffering without a proportionate benefit. In rare cases when a dispute cannot be resolved, the law provides safe harbor from liability for the physician, but only after meeting at least 12 due process requirements, including attempting a transfer.

While most states have a similar law, the TADA has more due process protections for patients and families than any other state law of its kind, especially since the Legislature has added further protections over the years,most recently in 2017.

Still medical providers and pro-life organizations would like to see improvements to further assure that patients and families have the maximum opportunity to transfer to an alternate provider when desired and that their intentions regarding DNR orders are implemented.