The Republican Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Dennis Bonnen, took an adversarial tone when speaking about two of the GOP’s loyal constituencies- pro-lifers and gun right supporters. Bonnen was speaking to reporters at the Texas Capitol about a conservative pressure group called Empower Texans that seeks to hold Republican state legislators to their campaign promises.
Bonnen seemed to think the policy priorities proposed by groups such as Empower Texans- and other groups such as Texas Right to Life and Texas Gun Rights- are simply a waste of time. Speaking in frank terms about pro-life legislation, Bonnen shot down the possibility of bringing up new pro-life bills for a vote in the State House.
“They aren’t worth responding to,” Bonnen said in regard to accusations from conservatives that he had failed to advance pro-life legislation. “If we passed every pro-life bill filed in the history of the state, they would say we had not done enough. You will never please or appease those folks and I’m sure as hell not going to waste my time trying.”
Bonnen’s description of pro-life policies as a lost cause in the nation’s biggest Republican state left many local conservative activists scratching their heads in confusion. Texas lags well behind other Republican states in cracking down on abortion, lacking both an Alabama-style ban or a time limit akin to Missouri’s ban on abortions eight weeks into pregnancy.
Bonnen also seems to have consigned an open-carry law sought after by Second Amendment supporters to the legislative dustbin. The legislation, which failed to get a public hearing after a dispute between Bonnen and Texas gun rights organizations, would have allowed legal gun owners to openly carry weapons without a permit, placing Texas on par with several other pro-gun states such as Arizona and New Mexico.
When it comes to actually moving the ball on conservative policies, Dennis Bonnen seems to be absent without leave.
Texas City Stands Up for Life by Passing Pro-Life Ordinance
Planned Parenthood is not welcome.
The town of New Home, located south of Lubbock, became the 15th city in Texas to prohibit abortion on September 29, 2020.
The New Home city council unanimously voted for the resolution following state politicians and local officials discussing the idea of bringing back a Planned Parenthood facility to the city. New Home Baptist pastor L.J. Wright was a champion of this pro-life effort and hopes that the vote will change Lubbock’s city council decision to bring back Planned Parenthood.
“With the City Council in Lubbock seemingly balking at the ordinance while claiming to be Pro-Life, this puts the pressure directly on them,” Wright commented. “Every city in Lynn County should consider following suit with New Home, and get behind Mark Lee Dickson… I am challenging all of West Texas to stand up for life, and make their city a Sanctuary City for the Unborn.”
Mark Lee Dickson, a pro-life activist and director of Right to Life of East Texas, crafted this ordinance.
Texas Senator Charles Perry, who represents Lubbock, has sent a petition around requesting that Planned Parenthood be kept out of Lubbock and signed on a letter calling Lubbock to pass a similar ordinance.
“Passing an ordinance designating Lubbock as a Sanctuary City for the Unborn will help to continue the Texas belief that life begins at conception, while also protecting the safety of mothers,” Perry wrote in the letter, which was also signed by State Representatives Dustin Burrows and John Frullo.
Similar to the other cities who have passed such ordinances, New Home’s ordinance implements the abortion ban by imposing fines on abortion providers. The catch is that this ordinance will go into effect once Roe v. Wade is overturned. Providers will also be held liable for carrying out abortions, and families who have children that were aborted will now be able to sue them.
The Texas reported that “Waskom, Naples, Joaquin, Tenaha, Gilmer, Westbrook, Rusk, Colorado City, Gary, Big Spring, Wells, Whiteface, and East Mountain are the other cities that have adopted the ordinance, modeled by Dickson. The town of Omaha adopted the ordinance but later pulled its teeth, making it a symbolic resolution instead.”
Texans are getting fed up with the inaction of legislators at the state and federal level. So, they’re taking matters into their own hands at the local level. Similar to Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions, these pro-life movements represent a growing dissatisfaction with the political status quo and are likely a sign of how politics will be conducted from here on out.
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