Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Texas House's "Pro-Life" Kabuki Theater....

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
Ephesians 5:11

Yesterday, Texas Right to Life released their dishonorable mention list for the 84th Texas Legislature, it covers:
Unfortunately, there were also elected officials this past legislative session who have worked against Pro-Life reforms or have promoted dangerous legislation that Texas Right to Life opposed. Even though some of these individuals may have decent voting records when Pro-Life legislation finally had public votes, these elected officials did more harm to the cause than help this year. For these legislators, Texas Right to Life has also released the 84th Session Dishonorable Mentions List.
The full list:
1. Chairman Byron Cook

2. Representative Sarah Davis

3. Chairman Charlie Geren

4. Representative Patricia Harless

5. Chairman Jim Keffer

6. Representative Eddie Lucio III

7. Representative Elliott Naishtat

8. Representative Debbie Riddle

9. Representative JD Sheffield

10. Representative Jason Villalba

11. Chairman John Zerwas
In the coming weeks, TxRTL will discuss each of these selections in detail; for now, Jason Vaughn details some of those actions from this past legislative session:
The Houston Chronicle recently ran an article entitled “[Texas]Lawmakers say they’re nearly out of ideas for abortion restrictions.”

In the article Rep. Byron Cook, Chair of the State Affairs Committee in the House, was quoted as saying “It’s becoming hard to do more things under what the Supreme Court has said is allowed,” after arguing lawmakers have done “monumental things in previous sessions.”

But have they really?

It is astonishing that Cook would say something like that after he personally caused the deaths of multiple pro-life bills last session. As chair of State Affairs he chose to have all pro-life bills come to his committee.

A total of two house bills made it out of that committee. A third Senate bill made it out, but was allowed to die due to Cook’s gutting of the Senate’s ethics bill (SB 19) which took up great amount of debate on the final day even though the Senate had guaranteed they would never get out of conference with his changes. Due to that bill, SB 575 was allowed to die. SB 575 would have made abortion coverage a supplemental insurance and kept Texans from paying for other’s abortions.

Just to get SB 575 out of committee after it had been held for several weeks Rep. Jonathan Stickland had to sign a paper agreeing to pull down other pro-life amendments and even then Cook’s committee gutted the Senate version. All this to no avail as the Calendar committee led by Rep. Todd Hunter placed it as the last major action item for the day and guaranteed it’s death.

Rep. Matt Schaefer twice asked Cook to postpone his doomed in committee “ethics” bill version and both times Cook refused to prioritize Life. Here are some other bills Cook refused to bring to a vote in his committee:

HB 1435 – This was the House version by Rep. John Smithee of SB 575 that Cook could have heard, but never did.

HB 1648 – This bill by Rep. Molly White in the House would have clarified the law that coerced abortion and pressuring a woman to get an elective abortion is a crime.

HB 113 – A bill by Rep. Allen Fletcher which would ban sex selective abortions.

HB 832 – From Rep. Matt Shaefer would have enhanced reporting abortion reporting requirements.

HB 1976 – This bill by Rep. Matt Schaefer would have banned abortions based fetal abnormality. Not only did Cook refuse to give this bill a vote, he wrote a letter encouraging House members supporting these abortions.

HB 2531 – This very strong bill by Rep. Matt Krause would have totally reformed the judicial bypass that abortion facilities use to get abortions for minors without parental consent. Krause was able to work much of this language into another bill.

HB 1901 – Another bill by Krause that would increase protection for the unborn when the mother is unconscious. While Byron Cook refused to even give this bill a hearing he did give a hearing to a bill that would weaken protection in these circumstances.

HJR 126 – This Constitutional Amendment by Rep. David Simpson would have nullified Roe v Wade and completely banned abortion in the state of Texas. It was not even given a hearing.

How can Cook say there is not much to do when he refused to even bring these bills to a vote? These are flat out lies.
 Read the Texas Right to Life article here, read Jason's article here.

1 comment:

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