Texas passes legislation to protect and support life
After a multiple delays and sparring, the Texas Legislature passed a strong sonogram bill by
State Representative Sid Miller. The new law requires a mandatory display of the sonogram
and the baby’s heart before an abortion.
Women and girls contemplating abortion will have 24 hours to reflect after receiving a private
doctor consultation, a sonogram with an oral description, hearing the baby's heart beat, and
information about risks and alternatives to abortion. Those living 100 miles from an abortion
provider can waive the 24 hour waiting period for a two hour wait.
The law is one of the strongest in the nation.
Texas new sonogram law challenged in court
The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit against the new Texas
sonogram law, attempting to stop it before it goes into effect. The abortion group was
granted a hearing, but the court did not rule on its motion. Both sides were granted
additional time to submit evidence. The Texas Attorney General’s office is defending the
informed consent statute.
TX Legislature defunds Planned Parenthood
The Texas Legislature voted to defund Planned Parenthood of millions of taxpayer dollars
and to prevent local tax dollars from being used for elective abortions. The legislation
prevents abortion providers and their affiliates from receiving tax dollars through the
“Women’s Health Program” (an estimated $34 million loss to Planned Parenthood). The bill
prioritizes other funding that Planned Parenthood usually goes after, giving priority to
community-based centers that provide comprehensive primary care to women (not just
“family planning”). The legislation also prevents county tax dollars from being used directly
for elective abortions.
Governor Rick Perry gave sonogram legislation "emergency status" to allow it to be
addressed in the first 30 days of the session, an important factor because many bills die at
toward the end of the session.
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst allowed Sen. Patrick to file re-file his bill with a lower number,
giving it priority.
House Speaker Joe Straus gave priority to HB 15 by assigning it a lower number.
During the 2009 legislative session, a sonogram bill failed.
Governor Rick Perry's press release
Governor Perry's speech at Rally for Life
Lt. Governor Dewhurst makes sonogram bill a priority