Texas Sonogram Law Prevents Doctors From Banning Women From Seeing Sonogram

January 18, 2012

The Texas Sonogram law is now in full effect as of January 13, 2012, as ordered by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Yes, every abortion clinic and abortion doctor in Texas must follow this law, now.  Any doctor seeking to perform an abortion on a woman in Texas must follow this law that protects women and makes it illegal for doctors to prevent a woman from seeing a sonogram image.  During the legislative process, we heard so many women testify about how abortion clinic doctors would not let them see the sonogram image.

The Sonogram law requires:

1. A woman must have the sonogram displayed so she can see it.

2. A woman must have a sonogram performed on her.

3. The baby’s heartbeat must be made audible so the woman can hear it.

4. A woman must be given a description of the sonogram image.

5. A woman must have a face to face meeting with the abortion doctor.

6. A woman must be given this information 24 hours before the abortion.

If a doctor does not provide a woman with this information, the doctor faces civil penalties.

Spread the word, and make sure every woman in Texas knows that she now has significant protections in the law when she goes into an abortion clinic.  If you hear of any doctor or abortion clinic not following this law, please contact our office immediately at 512-478-2220.


CTxPAC coming February 3rd and 4th – Register Today!

January 17, 2012

Texans from all across the state will be convening in Austin, TX February 3-4, 2012 for the premier conservative grassroots event in the state, CTxPAC.   Liberty Institute is a founding sponsor of CTxPAC and our President and CEO Kelly Shackelford will be addressing the conference on Saturday, February 4th as well as leading a workshop.  Other founding sponsor’s of the event include Americans for Prosperity – Texas, FreedomWorks, New Revolution Now, and numerous Tea Party groups from across the state.  Just a few highlights of the event will include:

Great Speakers and Empowering Workshops: Hear from leading conservative leaders and have opportunities to meet conservative grassroots leaders from around Texas, get advice, and get up-to-date on the latest grassroots strategies and technologies.  Workshops will be conducted by Liberty Institute, Americans for Prosperity – Texas, FreedomWorks, Common Ground America, and others.

Presidential Town Hall and Texas Conservative Caucus: The conservative grassroots will make a historic pre-primary statement by conducting a caucus to choose a nominee for President. All registrants will be eligible to vote except discounted student registrants.  Invited Presidential Candidates and Campaigns include Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Ron Paul.  This will be an exciting, interactive event – so don’t miss your opportunity to join conservative Texans in voting.

Patriot Reception: Join us for this exceptional private reception that includes food, drink and entertainment. CTxPAC is over-flowing with opportunities to network and build relationships with other state and national activists and conservative candidates.  A highlight of the Patriot Reception will be the announcement of the Texas Top Ten Conservative Challenger Candidates.  Nominate your top 5 candidates here.

As we move into this all important 2012 election year, it is vitally important that we stay actively engaged and informed.  Be sure to check out all the event details on the CTxPAC website and you can register for the Friday night and all day Saturday events here.  Attendance is limited so please register today!


Court: Texas Sonogram Law To Be Enforced Immediately

January 13, 2012

See the court’s order here.   5th Circuit Order 011312    

See the Texas Attorney General’s request here.    State Motion for Mandate 011212

Thanks again to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and his outstanding staff!


Texas’ Sonogram Law Ruled Constitutional, Signaling Biggest Pro-Life Victory This Decade

January 10, 2012

U.S. Fifth Circuit Court Upholds Law Stating Sonograms Must Be Performed 24 Hours Before Abortions 

AUSTIN, Texas, January 10, 2012 – Today, Liberty Institute announced a major pro-life victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declared constitutional the recently enacted Texas Sonogram Law, also known as HB 15. The Fifth Circuit’s decision overturned a controversial ruling by U.S. District Judge Sparks, which enjoined the Texas law co-authored by Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller and was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry in May 2011. The law requires doctors and certified sonographers to perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure.

“This is one of the most important victories in the past 10 years for informed consent for women seeking an abortion,” said Jonathan Saenz, Liberty Institute Attorney who heads the office at the Texas Capitol and provided the main legal testimony for the bill during the legislative process. “Women and unborn children in Texas are safer today because of this decision and no longer subject to the abuse of abortion doctors who deny women critical medical information.”

HB 15, which amends the 2003 Texas Woman’s Right to Know Act (“WRKA”), requires the physician “who is to perform an abortion” to perform and display a sonogram of the fetus, make audible the heart auscultation of the fetus for the woman to hear, as well as explain to her the results of each procedure and to wait 24 hours, in most cases, between these disclosures and performing the abortion.

Senator Patrick said, “I was always confident that our bill would survive any constitutional question because our goal from the beginning was to protect the woman’s right to know, protect the unborn and protect the constitution.”

Representative Sid Miller, said, “I commend the court of appeals for this just decision which confirms that women have every right to be fully informed about the abortion decision and that my fellow Texas lawmakers who supported this law stayed within the bounds of U.S. Supreme Court precedent.”

In August, on behalf of Senator Patrick and Representative Miller and in support of the law, Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit seeking to strike down Texas’ new sonogram law (HB 15), which was originally scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2011.  Senator Patrick and Representative Miller were the authors of HB 15 in the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, respectively.  Liberty Institute argued that HB 15 is consistent with The Supreme Court and only requires the disclosure of truthful and accurate information to allow women to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies.

Read the Fifth Circuit Court’s Opinion here.

Download this press release here.


Sonogram Bill Goes Before 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Today

January 4, 2012

Sonogram_Picture_Texas_CapitolToday, the Sonogram Bill (HB 15) will go before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.  The State of Texas will be seeking to overturn U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruling that put on hold key provisions of Texas’ new sonogram law.  The Sonogram Bill, which requires doctors or certified sonographers to perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure, was overwhelmingly passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law by Governor Perry this past legislative session.

Liberty Institute, on behalf of Texas State Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller – authors of the Sonogram Bill in the Texas Senate and House respectively, filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the law.  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 was also involved in helping lawmakers draft the best language for this legislation and provided legal advocacy at numerous legislative hearings on this matter when pro-abortion advocates tried to stop this effort.

Read the legislators’ amicus brief filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas Medical Professionals Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey.


Conservative Texans Political Action Conference (CTxPAC) coming in February 2012

November 29, 2011

Texans from all across the state will be convening in Austin this coming February 3-4, 2012 for the premier conservative grassroots event in the state, CTxPAC.   Just a few highlights of the event include:

Texas Conservative Caucus:  The conservative grassroots will make a historic pre-primary statement by conducting a caucus to choose a nominee for President. All registrants will be eligible to vote except discounted student registrants.

Presidential Town Hall: With the primaries in Texas right around the corner from CTxPAC, the conference expects to draw presentations from top Presidential hopefuls.  Invited Presidential Candidates and Campaigns include Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum.

Empowering Workshops: Opportunities to meet conservative grassroots leaders from around Texas, get advice, and get up-to-date on the latest grassroots strategies and technologies.

Liberty Institute is a founding sponsor of CTxPAC, along with several other conservative organizations and tea party groups, and our President and CEO Kelly Shackelford will be addressing the conference on Saturday, February 4th as well as leading a workshop.  Be sure to check out all the details on the CTxPAC website and be sure to register here.  Attendance is limited so please register today!


Liberty Institute Files Brief to Support Sonogram Bill, On Behalf of Sen. Dan Patrick, Rep. Sid Miller

November 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.

View Press Release


The Response: Tens of Thousands turn out for day of Prayer, Fasting

August 8, 2011

This weekend, tens of thousands of people participated in the Response prayer event at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX. With millions Americans struggling with unemployment, broken families and just wondering how they will make ends meet each month, it is a vital time for our country to repent and call out to God – just as the thousands did in Houston on Saturday.

Leaders from different political ideologies and denominations attended the all-day prayer event, including Liberty Institute’s president Kelly Shackelford, who lead a prayer at the event.  While some have attacked the event and Gov. Perry for initiating the event, Kelly Shackelford stated that “Calling for prayer for our nation is one of our country’s most enduring traditions, starting with our Founders; and our country desperately needs God’s intervention.”

In a recent editorial, Kelly Shackelford expands further:

“The very Founders of our country who wrote the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, on the same day as the First Amendment was adopted, passed a resolution calling for Americans to pray and give thanks to God. Sound familiar? It is, in fact, the same call as Gov. Perry gave. The Founders had no problem encouraging Americans to pray and thank God. They believed in religious freedom and that calling for prayer allowed every American to exercise, or not, religious freedom as they wished.”

Read the full editorial in the Christian Post here.


Texas Legislators Stand for Sonogram Law

August 5, 2011

Today, on behalf of Texas Senator Dan Patrick and Texas Representative Sid Miller, Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit seeking to strike down 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 and only requires the disclosure of truthful and accurate information to allow women to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies.

“For years, women have been shielded from relevant information about their unborn child and the abortion procedure by abortionists who make money off of these women’s decisions,” said Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO for Liberty Institute. “This lawsuit seeks to ensure less information for women and is a sad attempt to continue the practice of blindfolding women who are considering abortion. Women should have a right to see the sonogram of their child.”

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, and is set to go into effect September 1. A federal court held a hearing on the law in July, but gave no indication of how it would rule.

“The sonogram brings Texas’ outdated informed consent laws into the 21st century by reflecting advances in sonogram technology and related fields,” said Sen. Patrick (R-Houston).  “Women must be given complete information about their pregnancies before making a life-changing choice regarding abortion.

“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). “This law protects Texans and empowers women with the critical and important information they need before making such a life-altering decision.”

Read the legislators’ amicus brief in Texas Medical Professionals Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey

 


Statesman: Suit Over Houston Prayer Rally “Misguided”

July 15, 2011

Did I read this correctly?  Is this really from the Austin-American Statesman, dismissing the suit by their liberal friends at the Freedom From Religion group, who are suing Gov. Rick Perry over his participation in the Houston Prayer Rally event (The Response)?  Read for yourself.  http://www.statesman.com/opinion/suit-over-perrys-prayer-event-misguided-1609874.html


Governor Perry issues statement on Sonogram Bill

May 3, 2011

Governor Perry issued a statement today on the Senate’s passage of Sonogram Legislation:

“The Texas Senate has taken admirable action today by passing this significant sonogram legislation, and I want to thank Rep. Sid Miller and Sen. Dan Patrick for their work on this issue. Ensuring Texans have access to all the information when making such an important decision is a critical step in our efforts to protect life, and I look forward to this legislation reaching my desk very soon.”

Link to statement.


SBOE Announcement!! Gov. Perry Appoints Conservative to SBOE Chair

July 10, 2009

Update: Opposition is in full panic mode:  I don’t like to say “I told you so”, but the usual small group of Austin critics are already unleashing their fury on Gail Lowe, loosely throwing around words like “personal beliefs” and “creationist” (unsubtle code words for their targeted attack on Lowe for her religious beliefs) in their unhinged verbal attack of Lowe.  Even though at least one political news source considers Lowe a “moderate” of conservatives, it doesn’t matter to the Austin extreme left. Our point exactly — it doesn’t matter if its McLeroy, Dunbar, or Lowe, or any other SBOE conservative member, these political and religious attacks will continue, pretending to be something else.

The reason for the appointment is because 11 (all Democrats) of the 31 Texas Senators blocked the confirmation of Don McLeroy, citing to the New York Times for reasons to oppose McLeroy.  So Gov. Perry was forced to appoint another sitting SBOE member, to be chairman.  19 (all Republican) of the 31 (a majority) Texas Senators voted for McLeroy.

Gov. Perry Appoints Gail Lowe to State Board Chair

Free Market Foundation Applauds Conservative Appointment

AUSTIN, Texas – Today, Gov. Perry selected Gail Lowe to be the next chair of the State Board of Education (SBOE).  Gail Lowe, of Lampasas, Texas, is one of the more conservative SBOE members, and was first elected to the SBOE in 2002.  She previously served on the Lampasas Independent School District Board of Trustees and has volunteered countless hours in the classroom.  Following the Governor’s announcement, Free Market Foundation released the following statement:

“We applaud Gov. Perry for making an excellent choice for our new State Board of Education chair,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of Free Market Foundation.  “Gail Lowe is a strong conservative, representing Texas values, and has long been a leader in the field of education, in her local community, and in various roles as a State Board of Education member.” 

“Our state and our schoolchildren will benefit greatly from Mrs. Lowe’s service, care, and commitment as the new State Board of Education Chair,” said Jonathan Saenz, legislative director at Free Market Foundation.  “We hope that the usual critics will rise above their religious discrimination of the past and allow Mrs. Lowe to focus on the important education issues of our state,” said Jonathan Saenz, legislative director at Free Market Foundation.  

Free Market Foundation has worked on numerous issues before the State Board of Education, including recent testimony and key analysis on the science curriculum standards and Bible curriculum standards for Texas public schools.

For more information or for interviews, please call or email Jennifer Grisham, director of media, at (972) 423-8889 extension 102, media@freemarket.org, or (512) 879-7995.

_____________________________________________________________

You recall, that Don McLeroy’s confirmation as SBOE chairman was rejected earlier this year by 11 (all Democrats) of 31 Texas Senators.  Even though 19 of 31 Texas Senators voted “FOR” McLeroy, he needed a 2/3rds majority to be confirmed.  So 11 Texas Senators were able to block the will of the majority. 

The New York Times was cited as a source for basis of criticism on McLeroy, which lead some Senators to vote against him.  Some Texas Senators care more about what the N.Y. Times thinks, and less about Texans.


ACTION ALERT! House Sponsor, Rep. Jerry Madden, Expects Veto; Coalition Letter to Gov. Perry: Protect Children & Parents, VETO SB 1440

June 16, 2009

SB 1440, which is an unconstitutional attack on children and parental rights as a result of a drastic 4 page amendment on the last days of the session, has still not been acted on by Gov. Perry.  Children should not be torn from their homes and be traumatized because of an uncorroborated, anonymous tip.  Gov. Perry has just a few days left to sign or VETO SB 1440.  click here to read more about this issue details from previous posts. https://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/parental-rights-in-jeopardy-ask-gov-perry-to-veto-sb-1440/

We helped draft a legal analysis letter, joined by a broad coalition of national and Texas groups, and sent it to Gov. Perry, urging Gov. Perry to VETO SB 1440.  Click here for Letter to Gov. Perry SB1440 VETOrequest TheHonR Perry 06 15 09

Click here to see the long list of very diverse groups/entities/persons calling for a VETO of SB 1440(we keep updating it as it keeps growing!): VETO SB1440.  Call us at 512-478-2220 if you want to add your organization to the VETO SB 1440 list.

Cecilia Wood, Board Certified Family Law Attorney & Texas Family Foundation Member is on of the many attorneys supporting a VETO of SB 1440.

Also, in the letter is a statement from the House Sponsor of SB 1440, Rep. Jerry Madden (R-Plano) who now says he expects for Gov. Perry to VETO SB 1440 and that a mistake was made by accepting the amendment with the unconstitutonal language.  Please call Rep. Madden and thank him (512) 463-0544.

Please Call Gov. Perry TODAY and ask him to VETO SB 1440  (512)-463-2000.

Also, Call your State House Represenative and your State Senator and ask him/her to VETO SB 1440.

Click here to find your State House and Senate Member.  http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

We respectfully request the VETO of SB 1440, as it:  

1. Circumvents Constitutional Protections in the Fifth Circuit’s Gates v. TDPRS decision.

2. Entices State Actors to Violate Clearly Established Law, Subjecting Them to Personal Liability.

3. Allows DFPS to Violate Parental Rights.

4. Removes the “Good Cause” Standard Currently in the Texas Family Code.

5. Authorizes Medical and Other Confidential Records to be Given to Untrained Investigators.

6. Contains Weakened Evidence Standards.

7. Grants Sweeping Powers to Investigators Without Notice or a Hearing.

8. Lacks Parental Protections for Execution of Orders.

9. Emergency/Imminent Danger Situations Are Not At Issue, Not Affected by Veto of SB 1440.

“Liberal” blogs such as the DailyKos.com and others are also supporting a VETO of SB 1440. http://www.star-telegram.com/state_news/story/1424581.html and http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2009/06/conservative-veto-call-for-expanded-cps.html

Video from Press Conference on SB 1440


Texas Legislative Session Summary: Taxes Rejected, Family Values Protected

June 4, 2009

         ultrasound   

From the front lines of the Texas Legislature:  Despite a change in D.C. and a more liberal coup in the Texas House (which helped many dangerous bill have progress that would have previously never moved an inch), there is good news to report, but also some unfinished business.  It must be noted that even though there was a more liberal coup in the Texas House, extreme legislation was still soundly defeated because they are massively out of step with mainstream Texas values. 

Taxes:  The business/franchise tax now exempts from the tax, businesses with a revenue of less than $1 million (HB 4765- House Record Vote http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY64FINAL.PDF#page=9 ; Senate Record Vote http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-27-F.PDF#page=388) and property tax appraisers now must include foreclosure sales when computing the market value of a homestead (HB 1038: House Record Vote-http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY41FINAL.PDF#page=7 ; Senate Record Vote-http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-26-F.PDF#page=162).  

Also, TEA Party groups, FMF and others, helped end the local-option transportation tax on the last day (HB 300/SB 855-Senate Record Vote-http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ04-14-F.PDF#page=11). This was HUGE! 

Science Prevails, Censorship Rejected: We answered the call and defeated efforts to censor and ban discussion and criticism of evolution in the classroom, before the SBOE.   This issue was intertwined with the Legislature as House members signed a letter supporting our position and filed a bill to protect these freedoms, if necessary. Over 10,000 emails and many phone calls made a difference!  This affects 4 million students and was covered internationally! Final record vote: 
For- Allen, Agosto, Bradley, Cargill, Craig, Dunbar, Hardy, Knight, McLeroy, Mercer, Miller, Leo, Lowe.  AGAINST-Nunez, Berlanga. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS! 

 State Board of Education (SBOE) Attacked, Liberal “Victory” Short Lived: FMF fought successfully against liberal bills that stripped textbook and curriculum authority away from the elected SBOE (SB 2275: Bill never received vote-click here for Supporter of Bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=SB2275) and another, HB 710 (http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY65FINAL.PDF#page=25), would have taken power away from the voters to decide the future and existence of SBOE members and the entity itself.  We were the key to the demise of these and many other SBOE attack bills, with your help. We are outraged that SBOE Chairman, Don McLeroy, was blocked from confirmation by 11 Democrat Senators (the only other Democrat Senator, Sen. Eddie Lucio, chose not to vote on McLeroy, but he was on the Senate Floor). Despite our best efforts to the contrary, the Senate discussion focused on his Christian beliefs and the opinion of the N.Y. Times.  This far-left “victory” will no doubt be short lived, as we believe Gov. Perry will be appointing a new SBOE chairman who is is just as conservative as Dr. McLeroy.  An announcement could come soon. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE DETAILS! 

Planned Parenthood Failed Takeover of Texas Sex Ed:  Planned Parenthood and other groups put all their efforts toward forcing Texas students to learn more about condoms, contraception, and various sexual lifestyles, and less about abstinence (HB 741 -House members who supported this  http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB741, HB 1567- see who suppported this bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB1567).  Almost every day at the Capitol, you could see small groups of women and children carrying Planned Parenthood bags, working on this issue.  But, we provided key testimony and documentation and pulled together a strong and united coalition of groups across the state in opposition to these bills, which we defeated. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS!!  

New Hate Crimes  Law for Children? Not On Our Watch: Can you image your ten year-old child being charged with a “hate crime”?  That’s the bill that almost became law this session, HB 824 (see who vote for this bill  http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY43FINAL.PDF#page=18).  This bill passed the full House, and passed the Senate State Affairs Committee.  Just last week, it was one step away from heading to Gov. Perry’s desk before we were finally able to stop it.  We also stopped a hate crimes bill (HB 2966-see who supported this bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB2966) and a “bullying” bill (HB 1323-see who supported this bill http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB1323) that would have given special class protection to “transgender’ persons. 

Pro-Life, Pro-Family Legislation: Some Gains, Some Setbacks:  The Pro-Life Lobby Day was a huge success with hundreds of you in attendance and live ultrasound performed at the Capitol.  Numerous legislators were able to come face to face with the amazing ultrasound technology, some for the first time.  We also worked on the Ultrasound bill (supporters in the House http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB36 and Senate Record Vote http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-01-F.PDF#page=21). Both the Choose Life license plate bill and Ultrasound had a majority of support by the House and Senate, but the Ultrasound bill was blocked by liberal delays related to Voter I.D. and the Choose Life plate fell victim to political posturing on the last day. Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso), the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, bascially blocked the Choose Life license plate from getting out of committee, otherwise it would have passed the House in a stand alone bill, which would have allowed it to become law, as it had already passed the Senate, Instead, we had to amend the plate onto another bill, which had its own problems and eventually died. (See the House members that supported the Choose Life Plate http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB109 and the Senate Record Vote: http://www.journals.senate.state.tx.us/sjrnl/81r/pdf/81RSJ05-01-F.PDF#page=47)  Adult Stem cell treatment and research funding of $5 million will continue and the Alternatives to Abortion fund was increased from $5 to $8 million. Adult Stem Cell and Divorce Reform bills ran out of time before a House vote.  We also stifled efforts to undermine parental and informed consent and embryonic stem cell/cloning bills. 

Attack on Voters Guides & Others Dangerous Legislation Averted:  HB 2511- see the record vote in the House-http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/81r/pdf/81RDAY72FINAL.PDF#page=30 which we were able to stop after it passed out of the House, would have had a dramatic negative impact on our voters guide.  I even heard one legislator tell me that he was working on a way to ban our Voters’ Guides from being passed out in churches, something federal law clearly protects!  

Infanticide Bill-We also knocked down efforts to create a new Infanticide law (HB 3318- supporters-http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB3318) mother who murders her infant could have received only 6 months jail time if she claimed postpartum stress, currently this is a Capitol Murder crime). 

Gambling Bills Crushed-numerous bills were filed to expand gambling in Texas, particularly to allow full blown casino gambling in Texas.  We helped defeat them all.   The word around the Capitol was that there were over 200 paid lobbyist working to expand gambling in Texas. 

With our Austin office firmly established, we were at the Capitol every day and we were involved in every part of the legislative process.  We were also able to meet and interact with so many of you when you came to Austin or you called into our office.  We debuted our Texas Legislative Update Blog in January and it received almost 20,000 hits during the session! Thank you for your commitment to stand with us on these important issues.  We could not have had the outcomes on the above legislation without your help.  Please look for more detailed analysis, pictures, and videos of legislative session summaries in the days to come here at our Texas Legislative Update Blog! 

FMF meets with San Antonio pro-life activists at the Capitol

FMF meets with San Antonio pro-life activists at the Capitol


Breaking-‘Choose Life’ To Be Voted on By Senate Today-Watch for Live Blog Updates on Vote

April 29, 2009

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