Friday, January 11, 2013

Texas Right to Life's 2013 Pro-Life legislative agenda

by Texas Right to LifeTuesday, January 08, 2013
Today marks the first day of Texas' 83rd legislative session. We were proud this morning as we watched our new and returning Pro-Life legislators being sworn in to their offices, and we were particularly proud that Governor Rick Perry mentioned Texas Right to Life’s priority legislation in his inaugural speeches in both chambers.

We know that we'll face a tough fight from now until May as anti-Life politicians work to break down protections on Life, but we have a strong coalition of Republicans and Democrats on our side in Austin who will defend and advance the cause of Life.
Below are the bills Texas Right to Life’s coalition will work to pass:
Texas Preborn Pain Bill 
The Preborn Pain Bill will protect the lives of preborn children who can feel pain. The current medical consensus, comprising hundreds of medical studies, confirms that preborn children can feel pain at 20 weeks development in the womb, if not earlier. The Preborn Pain Bill would ban abortion at the 20-week mark, sparing preborn children from excruciating pain during the dismemberment of an abortion.  
Abortion Industry Accountability Bill
This bill would require abortion centers to actually follow state inspection laws that are not being enforced. The bill also requires that abortionists secure admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility. Additionally, every abortion facility is to have transfer agreements with local hospitals so that women and babies who survive botched abortions can undergo emergency, life-saving care immediately, rather than be left at a center that is unprepared for surgical crises and medical complications.  
Pro-Life Health Insurance Reform
The Health Insurance Reform Bill would shield citizens from paying for abortion insurance coverage through the state exchanges mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, if such exchanges are established in Texas. Furthermore, abortion coverage would also be narrowed to medical emergencies only—clearly defined as physical, imminent threat to the mother’s life—in the taxpayer-funded insurance plans for state employees.  
Protect Minors from Secret Abortions and Sexual Predators 
This bill will close the loophole in current law that allows pregnant minors to circumvent parental involvement in an abortion decision. Currently, judges can permit minor girls to have abortions without even notifying their parents. The abortion industry manipulates this judicial bypass loophole by appointing their own attorneys to shepherd pregnant minors through the intimidating court system, conspire for a secret abortion without parental involvement, and even cover up sexual abuse.
Patient Protection from Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders
Many physicians defy the expressed wishes of their patients by issuing unauthorized -- even secret -- Do-Not-Resuscitate orders to force their own arbitrary quality-of-life value judgments on their patients. By doing this, doctors may actually hasten their patient's death. Texas Right to Life's bill would require that doctors secure the consent of the patient or his surrogate before executing a DNR order.
Advance Directive Reform 
Current Texas law allows a physician to withdraw life-sustaining medical treatment, including food and water, from a patient despite the patient’s advance directive or expressed wishes by empowering physicians and so-called "ethics committees" to force patients to leave the hospital within 10 days. If patients do not leave by the 10-day deadline, they risk having all life-sustaining treatment denied. Texas Right to Life's Advance Directive Reform will change the law to allow more time for patients to be transferred to more appropriate care settings, or to physicians who will honor the patients' choices to continue necessary medical care like food and water. 
Texas Right to Life is the only Pro-Life organization whose lobbying team will maintain full-time presence in our State Capitol throughout the 2013 Legislative Session. Please monitor to keep updated for action alerts, hearing notices, prayer requests, obstacles to bills, and talking points to use with your elected officials, citizen activist groups, and churches. Texas Right to Life will need your help to pass these bills, so please join at

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