With last month marking the beginning of pre-filing for legislation in the Texas State legislature, representatives are filing pro-life measures to fight for the unborn.

State Rep. Cody Vasut (R–Lake Jackson) filed House Bill 60 with State Rep.-elect Terri Leo-Wilson following suit, filing House Bill 574.

These duplicate measures require that public schools must include “instruction that human life begins at conception and has inherent dignity and immeasurable worth from the moment of conception.”

These measures would allow the reinforcement of the fact that life begins at conception to be taught to students.

“The Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade in a landmark opinion,” said Leo-Wilson. “State [legislators] are now within their rightful jurisdiction to enact laws protecting unborn Texans. HB 574 follows this by allowing Texas educators to affirm that human life begins at the time of conception as part of the health curriculum in our public schools.”

Meanwhile, one of the biggest pro-life issues in Texas currently is that government entities and businesses are paying to send their employees out of state for abortions.

House Bill 61 by State Rep. Candy Noble (R–Noble) would prohibit government entities from “enter[ing] into a taxpayer resource transaction or appropriate or spend money” to support an employee attempting to get an abortion.

With a similar goal to mitigate that issue, State Rep. Jared Patterson (R–Frisco) filed House Bill 787, which would make a business entity “ineligible to receive a tax incentive if the entity assists an employee to obtain an abortion, including by paying all or part of any charges associated with the procedure or costs associated with traveling to a location for the procedure.”

“Texans believe in celebrating & protecting innocent life,” Patterson tweeted. “I’ve filed HB 787 to force businesses to give up any tax incentives granted to them if they pay for any portion of travel to obtain an abortion or any of the procedure itself. Our taxes shouldn’t fund abortions.”

Pro-life advocates say businesses have discovered that it is cheaper to send pregnant female employees over state lines to get abortions than it is to pay for maternity leave and add the new dependent onto health insurance plans.

“Abortion remains a human rights crisis today. City governments and businesses are paying for employee abortion travel to other states; activists are committed against teaching that life begins at conception,” Human Coalition Action’s Texas State Director and National Legislative Advisor Chelsey Youman told Texas Scorecard.

“Now that states once again have the authority to protect all human life in the womb,” Youman continued, “it is critical that we seize the moment and move forward with the strongest protections for these vulnerable lives. Now is the time to ramp up efforts to stop the killing, and each of these bills meets the needs of the moment.”

For years, Texas voters have been calling upon the state’s Legislature to fight for the unborn and protect their lives.

Earlier this year, during the Texas Republican Party Convention, thousands of Republicans voted on a list of legislative priorities for the Legislature to focus on in the upcoming session. “Abolish Abortion in Texas” was one of eight priorities that made it to the list.

“After Texas led the nation with its pioneering Heartbeat Act in 2021,” Youman explained, “Texans gave their pro-life leaders a resounding show of support in this past election cycle. Not only do our legislators have a moral duty to protect innocent children in the state, but also, they have a mandate from voters to support life. Pro-life bills absolutely must remain a priority in this upcoming session.”

Youman voiced her organization’s support of the legislation currently filed, saying, “We welcome these commonsense proposals that protect innocent life and support the truth about when life begins.”

Texas Right to Life has also been supportive of the newly filed pro-life legislation.

Texas Right to Life Senior Legislative Associate Rebecca Parma told Texas Scorecard that they are “excited to see and supportive of Pro-Life legislators’ policies to disincentive businesses from promoting abortion, disconnect governmental entities from supporting abortion logistical services like the City of Austin currently does, and emphasize the humanity and inherent worth of the preborn child from the moment of fertilization.”

Parma added, “One of Texas Right to Life’s priorities this session is to build a fully Pro-Life Texas, where we have not only prohibited abortions but are promoting life and flourishing for preborn and born children, their mothers, and families.”

The 88th Legislative Session will begin on January 10, 2023.

Concerned citizens may contact their elected representatives to ask how they will vote on such legislation.

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.