When pro-life conservatives were successful on the House floor this session, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus took the victory away from them.
Rep. Matt Schaefer, a conservative from Tyler, worked against House leadership to successfully amend a must-pass Health and Human Services (HHS) sunset bill to prevent late-term abortions. The Schaefer amendment would have eliminated an exception that allows for abortions of disabled babies after 20 weeks.
When conservatives won the vote on the amendment, Straus used a procedural motion to send the bill back to committee and refused to bring it again to the floor. His committee chairmen admonished colleagues and defended the fetal abnormality exception.
When the Senate’s version of the HHS sunset bill came to the floor at the end of session, Straus and his allies forced Schaefer and his conservative allies to back down from offering the amendment again.
In return, Straus promised to allow the conservatives a vote on a bill eliminating insurance coverage for abortions. But when the time for amending the HHS package had passed, Straus reneged on his promise and both pro-life measures died.
Straus Facts is a project of Empower Texans, shining a light on the record of House Speaker Joe Straus.