Texas House Could Pass Sonogram Bill Today!

March 2, 2011

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:


House Committee Hearing on Sonogram Bills

February 23, 2011

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.


House Committee to hear Sonogram Bills Tomorrow

February 22, 2011

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.

Please call your Representative today to ask him or her to support Sonogram legislation!

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 legislative@libertyinstitute.org


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


Action Alert!! We Need Calls/Emails: Religion, Babies, & Taxes!!

May 21, 2009

1.  Don McLeroy, State Board of Education member, needs your help to be CONFIRMED as chairman of the SBOE, which requires a 2/3rds of the 31 Texas State Senators to vote in favor of him.  His nomination as chairman was approved yesterday bythe Senate Nominations committee. Don McLeroy has been unfairly attacked by some because of his PERSONAL religious beliefs as a Christian.  He’s even been attacked for religious statements he’s made while at church!  CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR today and tell he or she to REJECT a Religious Test and please Support Don McLeroy!

Click here to find your State Senator http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

The Ultrasound Bill, the Texas House State Affairs Committee passed SB 182 passed it, the Ultrasound bill, yesterday!  The bill will now go to the Calendars Committee and then to full House for a vote.  Please call the Calendars Committee.  

TAXES: We still need action to oppose SB 855, as it will be voted on by the full House tomorrow!  This is the transportation tax bill that will have the effect of raising gas taxes by 125%.  Call (512) 463-4630 now and ask for your House member and tell him or her you oppose SB 855.

SB 1569 is also before the House for a vote today, regarding acceptance of federal stimulus money, if Texas expands unemployment insurance to part-time employees.


Ultrasound Bill Update-Senate Vote This Week!

April 7, 2009

Last week, we reported that the life-saving ultrasound bill, which requires that an ultrasound be performed on a woman considering abortion and that the woman is offered an opportunity to view the ultrasound image and hear her baby’s heartbeat, could pass through the Senate.  However, the vote was postponed to this week.  We are at a crucial stage with the ultrasound bill, which supports a woman’s right to view an ultrasound and ensures women are given vital information about a life and death decision.  The possible deciding vote is considered to be that of Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo), who voted “present, not voting” on the ultrasound bill the last time it was in the Senate!  That would probably kill the bill.

You can help!  Click here to call your Senator today!


Ultrasound Bill-Full Senate Vote This Week!!

March 30, 2009

SB 182, by Sen. Patrick has been placed on the Senate Intent Calendar and could be voted on as early as Wednesday or possibly Thursday by the full Texas Senate.  This bill requires that an ultrasound be performed on a woman considering abortion and that the woman is offered an opportunity to view the ultrasound image and hear the baby’s heartbeat.  The pregnant woman is absolutely not required to view the ultrasound image or hear the heartbeat.

http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/calendars/html/S120090331.htm

Please Contact your State Senator and ask them to support this excellent, pro-life bill, SB 182: Bill Text

Click here Senators’ information.  CALL NOW!!!  http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/ 

Texas Senators: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Members/Members.aspx?Chamber=S


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