Late Wednesday evening, the House of Representatives considered a “trigger bill” in House Bill 1280 by State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R–Southlake). The bill would prohibit abortions in Texas in the event the U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade is ever overturned.
State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City) offered an amendment eliminating language in the bill requiring that the state of Texas wait until the case is overturned, meaning that the bill, if passed, would go into effect on September 1, 2021, and prohibit all abortions.
Almost immediately, a point of order was called by Democrat House Speaker Pro Tempore Joe Moody (El Paso) on the grounds that the amendment changed the original purpose of the bill.
Almost 30 minutes later, House Speaker Dade Phelan sustained the point of order and ruled that the “purpose of the amendment is exactly opposite of the purpose of the bill.” This ruling effectively killed any additional consideration of the amendment.
The bill passed to final reading on Thursday by a vote of 80 in favor and 64 in opposition. Notably, the Senate had already passed the duplicate bill at the end of March, and it has been sitting in the House Public Health Committee ever since.
Slaton is the author of two bills in the House that seek to abolish abortion and direct the state to ultimately ignore the Roe v. Wade ruling. Neither bill has received a hearing in the House Public Health Committee, even though they have been referred there since March 22.
Abolishing abortion is one of the several legislative priorities of the Republican Party of Texas.