Texas is not as pro-life as people may think.
According to an analysis published by Americans United for Life’s (AUL), Texas dropped from the 4th-most pro-life state in the U.S. to 17th in 12 years– all while under Republican leadership.
The Life List 2020 is AUL’s annual state ranking based on a comprehensive analysis of each state’s law and policy protections for human life from conception to natural death. Its State Report Card is published every year, which ranks all 50 states from most to least pro-life, based on which laws are dedicated the most to protecting life at all stages.
In Texas, after the 2019 Legislative Session, Texas became the 17th most Pro-Life state, according to AUL, dropping four spots from the previous year.
Texas Right to Life’s Elizabeth Graham points out that, “In 2008, AUL considered Texas the 4th most Pro-Life state in the nation. But by 2015, Texas dropped to 10th and continued to fall, ranking 13th in 2019. … Falling four spots during a year in which the Texas Legislature was in session underscores House leadership’s failure and their ambivalence toward vulnerable pre-born Texans.”
Texas’ continued downward spiral took place primarily under the leadership of two House Republicans: Joe Straus and Dennis Bonnen.
During the 2019 Legislative Session, under Bonnen, who was investigated by the Texas Rangers and exposed by Texas Scorecard for alleged quid pro quo arrangements which appear to have violated state and campaign finance laws, the Republican-majority Legislature refused to pass a single bill to prevent selective abortion or end the 10 day rule, which allows hospitals to pull the plug on patients dependent on life-sustaining treatment like dialysis.
The Preborn NonDiscrimination Act (PreNDA), which would have eliminated late-term abortions in Texas and prevented the selective targeting of pre-born children based on their sex, race, or disability, went nowhere– because House leadership killed the bill.
Another pro-life bill to protect health care practitioners from being required to assist in services to which they object, like abortion, sterilization, and euthanasia, never received a hearing.
A similar bill to the “Charlie Gard Act” was also killed by Republican leadership. This would have reversed Texas’ unethical and unconstitutional 10-Day Rule signed by former Republican Governor George W. Bush, which allows hospitals to remove vulnerable patients from life-sustaining treatment.
Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan have less number of Republican legislators than Texas does, yet each state ranked higher than Texas.
Louisiana, run by a Democratic governor, ranks first as the most pro-life state in the U.S.
In five least pro-life states, (or most pro-death) are Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey and Vermont.
Steve Aden, Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel at Americans United for Life, said that lawmakers across the country are continuing to fight back against an “increasingly corporate abortion and suicide industries that appear determined to put profit margins before the health and safety of women, children, and vulnerable persons.”