AUSTIN, Texas — As Texas’ new elected officials are sworn into office this month, they will be leading a state ranked among the top ten most pro-life states in the nation, according to a ranking released by Americans United for Life (AUL), a pro-life legal organization.
To determine the rankings, AUL assigned point values for various types of pro-life legislation, including only those laws that were considered legally enforceable, not those that had been thrown out by a court or otherwise enjoined. The top ten states were Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Nebraska and Texas.
Louisiana received top marks for having “some of the nation’s most comprehensive laws protecting the health and safety of women seeking abortions and providing legal recognition and protection for the unborn,” including enhancing its informed consent law and requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges, similar to HB 2, the Texas law passed in 2013 in a special session after being temporarily defeated by former State Senator Wendy Davis’ filibuster.
HB 2, which also increased restrictions on abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy and enhanced safety requirements for abortion facilities, was among the laws cited by AUL’s evaluation for Texas as part of the “aggressive legislative action over the past several years” to protect the unborn. Texas was also named as a “Life List All Star” State by AUL.
Besides HB 2, other major pro-life legislation passed in Texas during the past few years includes the 2011 sonogram bill, bills in 2011 and 2013 that substantially defunded Planned Parenthood ($29 million out of $31 million annually), and increased funding for alternatives to abortion. Currently, the state provides $5 million per year through Texas Health and Human Services grants to more than fifty pro-life agencies across the state that provide support for pregnant women and abortion alternatives.
Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), who previously served in the Texas House, told Breitbart Texas that he was proud of the pro-life legislation that he had supported, and was looking forward to another successful legislative session. “Over the past decade, our state has seen sweeping pro-life reforms that have been modeled across the nation – such as the Women’s Right to Know Act, the sonogram bill, and defunding Planned Parenthood. I have always considered myself a part of the pro-life movement and will continue to work diligently to move Texas forward with similar measures this session.”
Greg Abbott, who will be sworn in Tuesday as Governor, earned a national reputation among pro-life advocates, both for his legal work defending Texas’ pro-life laws as Attorney General, and for defeating Davis, famous for her filibuster against HB 2, by double digits in the elections last November.
“Greg Abbott believes that all life is sacred, deserving of love and respect,” Amelia Chasse, Abbott’s press secretary, told Breitbart Texas. “As Attorney General, Greg Abbott fought for families and successfully defended laws protecting life, including the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. As governor, he will continue to keep Texas one of the strongest pro-life states in the nation.”
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