Iconic red state Texas is the most populous state in the country with unanimous Republican leadership across both the state legislature and the gubernatorial mansion. Its conservative legal leadership, in the state attorney general and solicitor general offices, is second to none across all the nation’s red states. As such, the Lone Star State is sometimes looked upon as a paragon of how a red state ought to govern when it comes to some of the bread-and-butter issues that undergird the American conservative movement.
Texas’s state legislature meets once every two years for 140 calendar days, as The Daily Wire noted earlier this month. The Texas 86th legislative session began on January 8, 2019 and runs through May 27, 2019. Now, The Texas Tribune reports — tendentious verbiage, such as “anti-abortion” in lieu of “pro-life,” notwithstanding — how multiple pro-life pieces of legislation are currently percolating through the Texas State Senate:
A Senate panel approved a controversial abortion bill Wednesday regarding the rare cases of infants who survive the procedure. It’s one of three anti-abortion bills that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has listed among his priorities. All three have been approved by committees and sent to the full Senate.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved the infant protection bill with a 6 to 2 vote. Senate Bill 23, filed by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, the committee chair, gives teeth to an already existing statute that grants legal protections to children born after a failed abortion attempt. Doctors who fail to provide appropriate medical treatment would be charged with a third-degree felony and have to pay a fine of at least $100,000. …
Meanwhile, another of Patrick’s priority bills, Senate Bill 22, would prohibit state and local governments from funding abortion providers.
The bill from state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, is the latest in a series of state decisions to slash government funding for abortion providers in Texas. In 2011, the Legislature cut the state’s family planning budget by two-thirds in an effort to limit funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. In late 2016, the state kicked Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Medicaid program and cut off $3.1 million in funding — and a federal appeals court upheld that decision in January. …
The Alternatives to Abortion Information Act, Senate Bill 24 proposed by Sen. Eddie Lucio, a Democrat from Brownsville, would clarify an existing statute that requires a patient to receive certain information before getting an abortion, including a list of agencies that offer alternatives to abortion.
The Senate State Affairs Committee unanimously approved the bill Monday.
Texas has numerous pro-life organizations that actively lobby state officials, including Texas Right to Life and Texas Alliance for Life. One major pro-life law that passed the Texas state legislature was an omnibus pro-life legislation involving a 20-week abortion ban and various abortion clinic restrictions that passed during the 2013 legislative session — which pink shoes-clad then-Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) infamously attempted to filibuster, at the time. Davis was eventually replaced in the State Senate by then-Sen. Konni Burton (R-Fort Worth), who was famously sworn in during the start of the 2015 legislative session wearing custom boots with a simple message emblazoned on them: “Stand for Life.”
The 2013 pro-life legislation that Davis unsuccessfully filibustered was ultimately invalidated, in large part, by the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.