Seven anti-choice abortion bills advance in Texas Senate

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On Monday, the Texas Senate advanced seven anti-choice bills, which are now likely headed to the Texas House. Enacting anti-abortion legislation is a major priority for Republicans in Texas, even though six weeks ago millions of Texans lost power and water due to a devastating grid failure, and many are facing steep damages and energy costs.

The bills that were debated yesterday all made it out of committee two weeks ago. One of the bills that was advanced, Senate Bill 8, is a de-facto six-week abortion ban. The legislation would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is often around six weeks. Often, many women don’t even realize they are pregnant at that time. There is also no exception in the bill for rape or incest.

Senate Bill 9 was also advanced at the Texas Senate yesterday. SB 9 would trigger a statewide abortion ban in the event the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Democratic state Sen. Carol Alvarado spoke out against SB 9, pointing out that reproductive healthcare is now even more regulated than ERCOT. While the Texas Senate passed seven anti-choice bills yesterday, they passed only one relating to ERCOT.

Both Senate bills 8 and 9 were top priorities for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Recently, former Republican Texas House Speaker Joe Straus appeared on a podcast from the Texas Tribune, and blasted his fellow party-members in the state for continuing to promote “culture war” agendas instead of enacting legislation that would actually help Texans, like expanding Medicaid.

Planned Parenthood of Texas blasted the slate of bills that moved forward in the Senate yesterday in a statement from Dyana Limon-Mercado, their Executive Director. “These bills being moved forward by Dan Patrick are part of a nationwide, extremist strategy to ban abortion by pushing access to care out of reach. For decades, politicians have created medically unnecessary barriers to abortion care, while ignoring the health needs of Texans. The same politicians who have failed to pass Medicaid expansion, provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, or address one of the highest Black maternal mortality rates in the country, have instead, made reproductive health care virtually inaccessible, pushing it out of reach for people who need it. Texans deserve better.”

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

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