Trouble in Texas? Lone Star State Continues to Fall Down the Pro-Life Ranks

Texas Right to Life reported on Texas’s mediocre performance on Right to Life issues in an article it posted on February 3, 2020.

In fact, it fell in pro-life rankings after the 86th Session of the Texas Legislature in 2019.

According to Americans United for Life’s (AUL) annual Life List, Texas is now the 17th most pro-life state in America.

In Texas Right to Life’s view, “This abysmal ranking is a result of gradual apathy over the past decade as ‘Pro-Life’ politicians have chosen to thwart life-saving bills, settling instead for easy ceremonial victories.”

Annually, AUL analyzes the pro-life and pro-abortion laws of each state, which includes newly implemented policies from the year before. Based on how well these laws defend the sanctity of life, AUL ranks all states in the country from most to least pro-life.

Texas used to be a pro-life leader. In 2008, AUL ranked Texas as the 4th most pro-life state in the country. However, by 2015, Texas fell to 10th place and continued its descent.

Texas Right to Life believes “This nosedive in the rankings occurred during the Republican House leadership tenures of Joe Straus and Dennis Bonnen.  Under their reigns, the Pro-Life issue was considered of lesser importance or too controversial, leading to willful dismissal of Pro-Life legislation and missed opportunities to save innocent human lives.”

In the past legislative session, the Texas Legislature refused to pass a bill that would have prevented elective abortion or saved the lives of vulnerable patients.

The Preborn Non-Discrimination Act (PreNDA) was the highest-ranked abortion bill in terms of legislative priorities.  PreNDA would have gotten rid of the remaining late-term abortions in Texas. It also would have prevented the selective targeting of preborn children due to their sex, race, or disability; and, promoted a network of pro-life abortion alternatives for preborn children who have severe disabilities.  Sadly, house leadership killed the bill at the last minute.  Similarly, another pro-life legislative priority would have guaranteed that health care practitioners would not have to carry out or aid in services in which they are conscientious objectors to. For example, services such as abortion, sterilization, and euthanasia would have been covered under this bill.  This bill never even received a hearing, let alone a vote. The failure to pass both of these bills have had a negative impact on Texas’s pro-life rankings.

Such disappointment has been on display with gun-related issues as well. For example, the 2019 legislative session was lackluster for Second Amendment proponents after House leadership killed Constitutional Carry legislation without bringing up the bill for a vote.

Texas politicians would be wise to stop ignoring their grassroots constituents. If they continue to do so, this could result in depressed turnout at the polls, and Democrats coming out on top.