Texas Pro-life Victories during the 84th Legislative Session

August 18, 2015

Texas continues to lead the nation in pro-life legislation including the Sonogram bill in 2011, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and HB2 in 2013 (which was probably the most sweeping pro-life legislation in our nation since Roe v. Wade). Earlier this year, your Texas Legislature passed additional bills defending life.

PWT Pro Life edit

HB 3994: Requires a woman seeking an elective abortion to provide a valid government photo ID to confirm she is not a minor. Since 2000, the state of Texas has required that minors seeking abortions do so with parental consent, or else must be granted judicial bypass from this requirement. House Bill 3994 tightens this process by requiring that a woman seeking an abortion present to the abortion provider a valid government-issued photo ID to confirm that she is of-age to legally seek an elective abortion without parental consent or judicial bypass. The bill also amends and strengthens the judicial bypass procedure.

HB 416: Requires employees and volunteers at abortion facilities to complete human trafficking training.
Under the provisions of HB 416, any employee, volunteer, or contractor of a licensed abortion facility that performs 50 or more abortions per year must undergo a human trafficking education and training program. The hope is that such a curriculum will train individuals working in these facilities to identify victims of human trafficking so that intervention and assistance can be provided, and no woman is forced to undergo an abortion against her will.

Floor Amendment to HB 1891: Prohibiting community schools from using or providing referrals to abortion providers and their affiliates.
House Bill 1891 establishes a model for community schools which, according to the bill author’s analysis, are “public schools open throughout the year to students, families, and community members before, during, and after school hours.” Supporters contended that while these schools provide quality education and engage the community, prior to legislation there was no definition or model to follow. A floor amendment was added to the bill that statutorily prohibits community schools from: · Providing abortion-related services · Providing referrals to abortion providers or their affiliates · Partnering with an abortion provider or affiliate in transitioning to a community school · Hiring an employee of an abortion provider or affiliate as the community school coordinator

HB 3074 : Required provision of artificially administered nutrition and hydration to sustain life.
Under the provisions of HB 3074, artificially administered nutrition and hydration must be provided to patients under the Texas Advance Directives Act. Before enactment of this legislation, Texas law relating to advance directives lacked clarity and potentially allowed for the withdrawal of food, water and pain medication without medical standards for doing so. HB 3074 clarifies that prolonging life is the default priority.

Budgetary Provisions in the 2016-2017 General Appropriations Act
DSHS Rider 72: Prohibits abortion providers and affiliates from participating in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS) Program. This prohibition currently applies to providers in the Texas Women’s Health Program and will be extended to the BCCS program when the new budget becomes effective on September 1, 2015.
HHSC Rider 31: Prohibits the use of any state-funded human sexuality or family planning instruction or materials provided or produced by abortion providers or their affiliates.
HHSC Rider 85: Prohibits the use of any state funds to pay direct or indirect costs associated with abortion procedures provided by any state contractors. Prohibits the distribution of any Women’s Health Services for Family Planning funds to elective abortion providers or any entities that contract with or provide funds to elective abortion providers
HHSC Rider 87: Lays out the requirements that must be met in order for the affiliate of any elective abortion provider to receive family planning funds.