Texas is one step closer to eliminating taxpayer-funded abortions. On Tuesday, the state’s Senate approved Senate Bill 22, its first major anti-abortion bill of the session. Republican Senator Donna Campbell sponsored the legislation, which would ban state and local governments from funding abortion providers. It passed the Senate with a vote of 20-11. The legislation would ban “… a sale, purchase, lease, donation of money, goods, services, or real property, or any other transaction between a governmental entity and a private entity that provides to the private entity something of value derived directly or indirectly from state or local tax revenue, regardless of whether the governmental entity receives something of value in return.”
Campbell took to Twitter after the bill’s approval. “Abortion providers unnaturally end the lives of almost 60,000 of our most vulnerable Texans every year,” she tweeted. “That fact alone should make them ineligible to receive tax dollars. I’m proud of the 20 colleagues today who joined me in helping pass SB 22 today.”
— Donna Campbell (@DonnaCampbellTX) April 2, 2019
In 2011, the Texas legislature slashed its family planning budget by two-thirds in an attempt to reduce taxpayer support of groups like Planned Parenthood. Campbell’s bill aims to take those efforts further by eliminating taxpayer funding on a local level.
In fighting for the legislation, Campbell and her supporters indicated the desire to put an end to “sweetheart rent deals” that some communities have with abortion providers. Campbell gave the example of a Planned Parenthood in Austin which has a rental agreement with the city for just $1 per year. “Now I don’t know anyone who can get that kind of a real estate in Austin,” she said.
Abortion advocates decried the bill because it would impact government partnership with all abortion providers and their affiliates, even when those facilities are providing other health services. However, the video below explains how money that goes to abortion providers for other health services is fungible, and still serves to prop up the facilities’ abortion business:
Other opponents see the bill as an infringement on local government. “I wanna make sure we get this concept straight,” said Sen. Royce West. “The State is telling local cities, local taxpayers, what they can and cannot spend their money on when we pass this bill, is that correct?”
Campbell replied in the affirmative, saying, “If the local government is using taxpayer dollars for any type of contract with an abortion provider or affiliate, yes, this bill prohibits that transaction.”
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick voiced his full support of the bill in a statement:
There is nothing more important than defending the defenseless. Senate Bill 22, authored by Sen. Campbell, will continue Texas’ commitment to defend the most vulnerable in our society and preserve the sanctity of life. Senate Bill 22 protects Texas taxpayers and affirms Texas’ commitment to protecting life. I strongly support this legislation and congratulate Sen. Campbell for carrying this important bill.
The bill next heads to the House, which currently has a Republican majority.
In addition, a recent Fifth Circuit Court decision has cleared the way for the state of Texas to defund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. The Fifth Circuit’s decision also affirmed that undercover videos captured at Planned Parenthood by the Center for Medical Progress were not “deceptively edited” and were forensically verified.
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