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A bill targeting the transfer of taxpayer dollars from state and local governments seeking to help fund the operations of abortion providers passed out of the Texas Senate on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 22 by State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) passed with 20 ayes and 11 nays. State Sen. Eddie Lucio (Brownville) was the lone Democrat to cross party lines in support of the legislation.

The bill would prevent local governments from contracting with or providing tax dollars to abortion providers, an issue that lawmakers have attempted to address in sessions past; but it garnered increased scrutiny last year when it was exposed that the city of Austin leases a property to the infamous abortion provider Planned Parenthood for just $1 per year.

The “sweetheart deal” received statewide attention and citizen outcry led to Republican lawmakers swearing to end the practice this session.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick included SB 22 among three pro-life bills in his 30 legislative priorities for the chamber early last month. Patrick issued the following statement after the passage of the bill Tuesday:

“There is nothing more important than defending the defenseless. Senate Bill 22, authored by Sen. Campbell, will continue Texas’ commitment to defend the most vulnerable in our society and preserve the sanctity of life. Senate Bill 22 protects Texas taxpayers and affirms Texas’ commitment to protecting life. I strongly support this legislation and congratulate Sen. Campbell for carrying this important bill.”

Campbell authored the bill in conjunction with State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (Brenham) and Lucio to carry the three bills advancing pro-life measures in the state’s upper chamber.

“Texas taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize the abortion industry with their tax dollars,” said Campbell. “Abortion providers unnaturally end the lives of almost 60,000 of our tiniest and most vulnerable Texans every year. That fact alone should make them ineligible to receive tax dollars. I’m proud of the 20 colleagues in the Senate who joined me on this important bill.”

Texas Right to Life, the state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization, tweeted out their congratulations to Campbell on the bill’s final passage shortly following the vote.

The bill now heads to the Texas House, where pro-life bills have largely languished so far in the 86th Legislative Session.