Pro-Life Issues for the Special Session of the 85th Texas Legislature

By Texas Right to Life

Editor’s note. On June 6 Texas pro-life Governor Greg Abbott called for a special session for the 85thTexas Legislature, which began July 18 and will end August 18.

Patient Consent for Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Orders

SB 11 by Sen. Charles Perry and HB 12 by Rep. Greg Bonnen

Current Texas law does not require patient or surrogate consent prior to a DNR Order written or executed by a physician or healthcare facility. This enables health care providers to unilaterally impose DNR Orders on patients without the knowledge or consent of patients or their surrogates. This bill requires that consent be obtained from the patient or surrogate before most DNR Orders may be written.

Pro-Life Health Insurance Reform

SB 8 by Sen. Brandon Creighton and HB 214 by Rep. John Smithee

This bill would protect Pro-Life Texans from subsidizing abortions with their tax or premium dollars in public, private, and state employee health insurance plans by removing elective abortion from standard health insurance benefits. Abortions in the case of a medical emergency would still be covered, and elective abortion coverage would be available as a supplemental, separate option.

Prohibition of State and Local Funding & Contracts with Abortion Industry

SB 4 by Sen. Charles Schwertner and HB 14 by Rep. Drew Springer

Under the state’s budget bill (SB1), most state funding for abortion providers and their affiliates is prohibited. This bill would codify those prohibitions and extend that ban to local governments. Preventing governmental contracts or monetary transactions with affiliates of abortion providers is consistent with the state interest to protect preborn life and the view of the majority of Texans that oppose benefiting an evil industry with their tax dollars.

Two-Part Abortion Reporting Reform

SB 10 by Sen. Donna Campbell and HB 13 by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione

This bill would codify and add enforcement to rules requiring abortionists and medical professionals to report medical complications caused by abortions.

SB 73 by Sen. Bryan Hughes and HB 215 by Rep. Jim Murphy

While many laws have been passed requiring either parental or judicial involvement in a minor’s abortion decision, data on how minors receive permission for an abortion is not reported. This measure would also apply consistency to the certification required for an abortion provided under the fetal abnormality exception.