Since 1972, the city of Austin, Texas, has leased a location to Planned Parenthood for just $1 a year, as Live Action News has previously reported. But a bill recently proposed by Texas lawmakers soon might change that.
Senate Bill 22 would prohibit Texas cities and counties from contracting with abortion providers. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Donna Campbell, passed the Senate Committee on State Affairs by a vote of 7-0, and will now be sent to the Senate to be passed before the end of the legislative session in May; if not, the legislature will not meet again until 2021. While the bill bans abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, hospitals and universities would not be affected.
The bill would be one way to remove state support from the abortion provider. Even though in 2011 Texas removed funding from Planned Parenthood and other purveyors of abortion, current law still allows these subtle ways of supporting abortion with taxpayer funds.
Speaking to KXAN News, Nicole Hudgens of Texas Values praised the bill, saying it was unfair to taxpayers. “You’re seeing low-income families, how are they able to afford this area but yet Planned Parenthood is getting a dollar rent,” she said. “That’s not fair to taxpayers. Planned Parenthood is getting to rent for a dollar a year while residents in that area and citizens that are paying taxes are seeing their taxes increase by hundreds of dollars.”
The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops also voiced their support. “Time and time again the people of Texas have made it abundantly clear that our citizens have a tremendous respect for unborn human life. This bill ensures that our tax dollars are not used in violation of the most basic principle of our union, that all people are guaranteed a right to life,” they said in a statement.
Opponents of the bill reiterated the often-debunked claim about Planned Parenthood being a provider of healthcare. “What is at stake here are critical preventative health care services … Planned Parenthood is a frontline health care provider, and we have already seen what has happened when the state removes Planned Parenthood from programs,” said Yvonne Gutizerrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Austin isn’t the only city in Texas to have a cozy relationship with Planned Parenthood. Dallas and El Paso, as well as Tarrant County, also contract with the abortion giant.
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