Would Texas politicians ever consider giving taxpayer cash to a local animal clinic that kills dogs? Probably not. If they did, citizens would be outraged.
Recently, however, numerous local officials signed a letter to Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen pleading for permission to continue using taxpayer dollars to finance the deaths of children—imploring Bonnen to stop a newly proposed pro-life law which would end their ability to give citizens’ cash to abortion organizations.
“Local governments and health officials must have the ability and authority to partner with trusted health care providers and other qualified nonprofit organizations to address the health needs of our communities,” the letter read.
Three dozen officials from across the state signed their names onto the letter, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler and a majority of the city council, two Travis County commissioners and County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, as well as the mayors of Houston and San Antonio.
In the past, pro-life lawmakers in the Texas Legislature have prevented citizens’ money from going to abortion providers by amending the state budget, but such actions have only been temporary fixes and were not permanent law.
There’s also no current law that stops local governments from using citizens’ money to fund abortions, permission local officials such as the Austin City Council have taken advantage of. The council has given Planned Parenthood a special $1 annual land lease deal for their clinic near downtown for nearly 50 years; council did this even despite receiving offers from a health clinic who offered to pay full market price for use of that property.
Taxpayers in Austin have spoken out against their council’s decisions, telling the local officials to stop using their money on exclusive deals with privileged businesses—especially when that business is killing babies.
“This lease agreement is not fair to East Austin residents,” said Nicole Hudgens, policy analyst for Texas Values, a social conservative advocacy organization. “One would think the Austin City Council would ensure Planned Parenthood is paying their fair share, especially when residents in this community are seeing their schools close down and their property taxes increase so much.”
Hudgens also questioned why her local officials chose to funnel citizens’ money to an organization that kills babies when there is an abundance of legitimate women’s health providers available for underserved communities. In fact, in Texas, the number of certified clinics providing abortion-free programs like Healthy Texas Women outnumber Planned Parenthood 5,500 to 39.
“What about federally qualified healthcare centers? Centers that do the same thing Planned Parenthood does without killing unborn children,” Hudgens asked. “Let’s not forget that Planned Parenthood isn’t just any organization. It’s not a federally qualified healthcare center. It’s an organization that has covered up child sex abuse and has been caught on tape discussing the sale of baby body parts for profit.”
Ironically, under Texas’ proposed pro-life law, organizations such as Planned Parenthood could receive state funding if they simply stopped providing abortions. They will not though, according to Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen.
“The last thing I would want is [for] people to get the impression that we are backing off of our core services,” Wen told BuzzFeed. “What we will always be here to do is provide abortion access as part of the full spectrum of reproductive health care; it’s who we are.”
And according to many Texas’ local officials, they want to use your money to continue helping Planned Parenthood carry out their “core service.”
The pro-life law, entitled Senate Bill 22, has passed the Texas Senate and is currently making its way through the Texas House.