Pro-life activists aiming at new laws during 79th Texas legislative session

As the 79th Texas legislative session gets underway, pro-life leaders are not content to rest with last year’s passage of a law guaranteeing a woman’s right to know factual information about abortion dangers.

Rep. Frank Corte Jr. of San Antonio filed House Bill 17 relating to statistical information concerning the number of times judges bypass parental notice of a minor’s abortion. Under current law a minor girl seeking an abortion can appeal to a local judge to allow her to have an abortion without informing her parents.

Texans for Life President Kyleen Wright, a member of Gateway Baptist Church of Mansfield, said Corte’s bill seeks to gather information on the number of times judges allow a teenager to access an abortion away from home without informing parents.

“We want to prevent abuse of the process,” Wright said, adding that abortion groups know which county judges are likely to grant a judicial bypass around parental notification laws. Believing judges should be accountable to the citizens who elect them, Wright and other pro-life leaders favor the restriction so teenage girls will not be transported across the state without their parents’ knowledge to conceal an abortion.

Corte is a deacon at University Baptist Church in San Antonio and authored last year’s Woman’s Right to Know legislation. The Bexar County Christian Coalition, the American Family Association of Texas, the Texas Eagle Forum and Texas Right to Life honored Corte for his pro-family legislative actions last year. He was recognized by the Texas Christian Coalition with its “Friend of the Family Award” for his legislative efforts.

Corte also introduced H.B. 16 which expands the right of medical personnel to object to participation in an abortion to include pharmacists asked to dispense emergency contraception drugs that contain an elevated dose of hormones used to prevent pregnancy.

“This will be one of the top targets for the pro-abortion crowd,” Wright predicted. “As they have increasingly been limited by public opinion against abortion, they have moved toward these early, chemical abortions, pushing them and trying to require them in hospitals where they still enjoy some public support.”

Wright said the 1979 law gave doctors and nurses the right to opt out of involvement in abortion procedures. The introduction of abortifacients?substances that cause pregnancy to end prematurely and results in an abortion?prompted the need to update the law to include pharmacists among the medical personnel given the right to opt out of abortion procedures.

House bills that remove some restrictions on abortion include proposals offered by Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston. They are:

?H.B. 145 relating to an abortion when a fetal abnormality is detected and H.B. 146 relating to an abortion for a victim of incest or sexual assault. Both bills specify that the stated condition is grounds for an exception to requiring informed consent of the woman on whom the abortion is performed.

Also seeking to lift some restrictions on abortion is Rep. Eddie Rodriguez of Austin. His proposals include:

?H. B. 357 relating to the performance of certain abortions at a facility other than a hospital or ambulatory surgical center and H.B. 358 relating to information about certain agencies providing pregnancy assistance.

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