We’re representing three pregnancy centers against the City of Austin in court today, combatting their targeted effort against charitable centers that are pro-life.
What a fantastic March for Life Rally in downtown Dallas this past weekend! There was beautiful weather, thousands of people, and with recent victories like the Sonogram Law, there was a renewed sense of purpose in continuing to fight for a culture of life. Don’t forget that the Texas Rally for Life is this coming Saturday at the Texas Capitol. Liberty Institute will be participating as one of the Host Committee orgainizations. For more details visit: http://www.texasrallyforlife.org/
Pictures from Dallas on Saturday:
Check out a video of the March, with the line seemingly going on forever.
Breaking News — Texas Sonogram law ruled constitutional! The Fifth Circuit Court (Edith Jones opinion) holds recently enacted Texas Sonogram law constitutional. The Fifth Circuit reversed Judge Sparks, vacating his granting of preliminary injunction, which had stopped enforcement of the Texas Sonogram law.
Check back to the blog today for a full press release with quotes from the bill’s authors, Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller. Liberty Institute, on behalf of Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller, had filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the law.
You can download the 5th Circuit Court opinion here
Liberty Institute Files Brief to Support Sonogram Bill, On Behalf of Sen. Dan Patrick, Rep. Sid MillerNovember 4, 2011
Today, on behalf of Texas Senator Dan Patrick and Texas Representative Sid Miller, Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief the in appeal of the preliminary injunction that put on hold key portions of Texas’ new sonogram law (HB 15). Senator Patrick and Representative Miller were the authors of HB 15 in the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, respectively. Liberty Institute argues that HB 15 is consistent with Supreme Court precedents and only requires the disclosure of truthful and accurate information to allow women to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies.
“Liberty Institute has been an important partner in passing this legislation since I first filed it in 2007,” said Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston). “I hope our work will finally be allowed to help the women and unborn children of Texas. I am disappointed that we have to wait even one more day for the protections we passed this last legislative session. I hope the Fifth Circuit moves quickly to allow women to be fully informed before making this life altering decision.”
HB 15, which requires doctors or certified sonographers to perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure, was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry on May 24, however, key portions of the law were struck down by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks.
“Just as doctor gives medically-relevant explanation of his or her patient’s condition before even a minor procedure, an abortion provider should offer such information to women seeking abortions,” said Rep. Miller (R-Stephenville). “I’m hopeful that all of the sonogram bill will be upheld, so women can be fully informed.”
Read the legislators’ amicus brief filed today with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas Medical Professionals Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey.
As part of our continued coverage of the recently completed legislative session, we will be releasing a series of sit down interviews we did with key conservative legislators that had an impact on important issues during the session. Our 2nd interview is with Rep. Bryan Hughes. We talked with Rep. Hughes about the important pro-life victories from the session, including his leadership in efforts to defund abortion providers of tax dollars.
Statement on passage of SB 7 and other efforts to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. LibertyInstituteStatmentSB7
Update: SB 7 passes Texas House 96-48. Now Senate needs to adopt the bill. Now Tx Senate has to vote on this today. Vote coming any minute. Follow quick updates at our FB page. http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/Liberty-Institute-Texas/188607107843102
Update: 11:15 a.m. SB 7 is being discussed/debated on House Floor, expected that votes are there for SB 7 to pass.
SB 7 contains pro-life provisions under which Planned Parenthood stands to lose at least $17 million per year in taxpayer funds and SB 7 prevents use of county taxpayer funds for abortions. SB 7 contains improved pro-life language that is agreed to by SB 7 authors — Rep. Zerwas and Sen. Nelson – and Rep. Bryan Hughes, Rep. Sid Miller and other pro-life members of the Texas House and Senate. SB 7 is expected to come to a vote TODAY in the House and Senate! The Texas House starts working at 10 a.m. today.
The day to defund Planned Parenthood in Texas is TODAY. Please call your House member and Senator NOW to ask them to support SB 7!
Check back on the blog later today for updates.
SB 7 Improved, Defund Planned Parenthood Vote is Monday!
Call your Texas State Senator and House member today to support SB 7, to defund Planned Parenthood! As we reported to you last week, pro-life House members were working hard to include stronger pro-life language in SB 7 after it emerged from conference committee with overly broad language. One section of SB 7 created a loophole for taxpayer-funded abortions on some babies with an abnormality, that some believe included Downs syndrome and other disabilities. We are thankful for Rep. Bryan Hughes and Rep. Sid Miller, who led the efforts of numerous pro-life House members to reject this language, craft tighter language on this issue, and close the loophole. Their efforts were successful as an agreement was reached yesterday with the help of Rep. John Zerwas and Sen. Jane Nelson, the authors of SB 7. SB 7 also contains pro-life provisions under which Planned Parenthood stands to lose at least $17 million per year in taxpayer funds. SB 7 is expected to be voted on MONDAY by the Texas Senate and the House!
Today is the day to Defund Planned Parenthood. Ask your TX House and Senate member to Support SB 7! Make your call now! http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/
There is some background discussion that SB 7 will come up for a vote in the Texas House, today. Rep. Zerwas is the House author and there has a been an effort by numerous pro-life House members to have the final version of SB 7 be more inclusive of the pro-life language included in the House version of SB 7. We’ll post updates as they come.
Texas House Votes in Favor of SB 7 to Defund Planned Parenthood! Two other pro-life amendments were also added. An amendment by Rep. Zedler was added that requires more detailed reporting of information relating to abortions, and an amendment by Rep. Christian was added to prevent tax funding for abortions by hospital districts.
SB 7 has already passed the Texas Senate, but SB 7 may have to go to conference committee, so this work is not finished just yet.
SB 257 passes the full Texas Senate, 21-10. We’ve been supporting this bill in the Senate and House.
Today, the Texas House of Representatives will hear HB 15, the sonogram bill filed by Rep. Sid Miller, which was passed out of committee last week. The bill requires that a doctor perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion and give the women a chance to hear the baby’s heartbeat.
Liberty Institute strongly supports passing legislation in the State of Texas that would require doctors to provide women with all the medically-relevant information they need before having an abortion, much like anyone receiving any other medical treatment. The bill could save thousands of lives if it is anywhere near as effective as sonograms have been in other parts of the country.
Please call your Representative today to ask him or her to vote FOR HB 15 on the House floor! You can keep up-to-date on this blog as we will be blogging live from the capitol.
Also, last week we had the opportunity to film some of the brave testimony of several women after they spoke to the House Committee in favor of Sonogram legislation. Please share these videos wherever you can as it is vitally important to get their heart felt messages heard.
Carrie Holland, Juda Myers, and Misty Ramshur, Choices4Life:
Terry Williams, Central Texas LifeCare:
Threesa Sadler, Chrysalis Abortion Recovery Ministry:
Vote was 5-1. Newcomer, Senator Rodriguez was the only vote against the bill. More details below.
4:55 p.m. HB 15 passes 9-3, now headed to Calendars Committee.
4:45 p.m. Rep. Sid Miller is now discussion his sonogram bill, HB 15.
4:05 p.m. Rep. Geanie Morrison discussing her bill, HB 201. Rep. Menendez asking questions about the bill. Rep. Gallego has an issue with law giving a right to the woman to have the sonogram image shown to her. Rep. Morrison asks for HB 201 to be left pending, as the companion bill is SB 16, which is coming over from the Senate
3:51 p.m. Jason Collins, attorney testifying in favor of sonogram legislation.
3:40 p.m. Just finished testifying. No questions.
3:20 p.m. Harvard grad lawyer testifying that sonogram bills are constitutional. Christian Ward is a partner at the local law firm, Yetter Coleman. A very well-respected firm.
2:52 p.m. Dr. Linda Flower, physician, chairman of the Texas Physicians Resource Council, testifying in favor of Sonogram legislation. Over 30 years of experience including OBGYN and obstetrics. She is a member of the Texas Medical Association (TMA).
2:44 p.m. Margaret Hotze, Life Advocates testifying.
2:25 p.m. Woman testifying, her mother was raped. She is the “rape baby” that was born from her mother. She just held up two pictures of sonogram images, one of a “rape baby”, one not. “Can you tell the difference? There is none?” “ABORTION NEVER UNRAPES A WOMAN”.
2:13 p.m. Jennifer Allmon, testifying in favor of Sonogram legislation, Texas Catholic Conference. Discussing pro-life position of protection from conception to natural death.
2:11 p.m. Kyleen Wright of Texans for Life, testifying in favor of Sonogram legislation.
2:00 p.m. Man testifying against sonogram legislation, it appears.
1:56 p.m. Ann Hettinger testifying in favor of Sonogram legislation.
1:34 p.m. Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director from Texas, testifying FOR sonogram legislation. Abby no longer works for Planned Parenthood. She is now a pro-life advocate. She says that at Planned Parenthood, women ARE NEVER ALLOWED TO SEE THE SONOGRAM IMAGE!!
1:31 p.m. Terry Williams from Central Texas Pregnancy Center, testifying about couple who was told by an abortion center that the woman who was pregnant, that the child was not viable. She then went to a pregnancy care center and found out that the baby was viable and did have a heartbeat.
House Hearing in State Affairs begins. Rep. Leo Berman begins the testimony.
Note: Just about every single person that has come up to testify in favor of sonogram and informed consent legislation has been a woman.
Tomorrow, the Texas House State Affairs Committee will hear two versions of the sonogram bill (HB 15 and HB 201). Rep. Geanie Morrison filed HB 201, which is the companion to the sonogram bill that passed through the Senate last week (SB 16). Earlier this month, Republican State Representative Sid Miller, also filed a sonogram bill (HB 15). Both bills require that a doctor perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion and give the women a chance to hear the baby’s heartbeat.
Liberty Institute strongly supports passing legislation in the State of Texas that would require doctors to provide women with all the medically-relevant information they need before having an abortion, much like anyone receiving any other medical treatment gets, and we will support both HB 15 and HB 201 at the committee hearing.
We thank Rep. Byron Cook, the chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, for scheduling these pro-life bills so early in the session, showing his strong support for this effort. Rep. Byron Cook is a joint author for HB 201 and a coauthor of HB 15.
We will be at the hearing tomorrow, so please check the blog tomorrow for live updates.
If you are coming to the Capitol to support this bill, please contact us so we can help!! email us at firstname.lastname@example.org