Hundreds of people lined up as early as 5:00 am to secure a seat on the gallery of the Texas House floor. The reading of the bill started at 10:00 am, and the room was declared full at 550 people, with over a hundred more lined up outside waiting for a chance to get in.
In stark contrast to the wash of orange filling the House last Tuesday, when a filibuster and jeering mob prevented the scheduled vote from taking place, the majority of those present today are wearing blue to show their support for women, for children, and for life. Some local, some — like the Live Action team who joined the Students For Life trip — having come in on an overnight bus trip, and some from as far away as Spain, all converged in Austin, TX to show their support of the legislation in question.
The day began with the reading of House Bill 2 (HB2), the Texas Infant Pain Capable Protection Act, at 10:00 am, followed by a reading and discussion of proposed amendments. Deliberations have lasted all day.
Rep. Jodie Laubenberg emphasized that she wanted to pass the bill “without adding any amendments.” Pulling out tiny blue baby shoes, she reminded those present that this bill is “about the health and safety of women, but also about the unborn child who has pain receptors and can feel pain at 20 weeks.”
Objecting to HB2, Rep. Alvarado voiced the concern that the “bill is putting obstacles, challenges and economic constraints for women who have to travel long distances [for an abortion].” Alvarado continues to assume that this bill would close clinics, despite Rep. Laubenberg’s statements that abortion clinics will not be forced to close and would be given a full year to come into compliance with appropriate heath and safety standards.
Pro-abortion Representative Senfronia Thompson, wearing a coat hanger pin on her lapel, had her whole staff hold coat hangers while she talked about her proposed amendment, which would guarantee a woman an abortion up to the point of birth. Rep. Thompson stated that she didn’t want women to resort to back-alley abortions using coat hangers, a knitting needle, a feather, or turpentine as she held up each item.
When asked to describe how babies are currently brutally dismembered by surgical equipment in late-term abortions in clinics, Rep. Thompson conspicuously avoided answering. This only highlighted her clear double standard with regards to concerns for heath and safety.
We can expect deliberations such as these to continue as the pro-abortion side dredge up every ill-conceived argument they can think of in an attempt to stop the passage of HB2, which would not only protect the pain-capable unborn baby, but also bring abortion facilities in line with the health and safety standards of other, similar surgical facilities.
As the testimonies thus far have shown, the abortion supporters have run out of relevant objections and are now grasping at coat hangers in an attempt to keep widespread abortions accessible and under-regulated.
The rallying cry of last week was #StandWithWendy and #StandWithTexasWomen. As the unruly mob of last week has been replaced by a calm sea of blue, we may finally have a chance to see exactly where Texas stands.
For now, it looks hopeful that not only will a vote take place, but it may very well show that Texas #stands4life by protecting both women and the unborn to an unprecedented degree since Roe v. Wade. If the bill passes, Texas will truly be the “Lone Star State” – the only one of the fifty United States to have passed legislation protecting both women and unborn babies to the degree proposed by HB2.