Misplaced Priorities: Texas Senate Committee Turns Attention from Unresolved COVID and Power Crises to Abortion Bans

by Dan Quinn

Even as COVID death toll rises and Texans still recover from last month’s deadly power outage, Republicans who run the Texas Senate are pressing ahead with the abortion wars. See our press release today.

Misguided Focus on the Culture Wars Demonstrates Continuing Failure of Leadership by Republican Lawmakers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2021

Today’s anti-abortion circus in the Senate State Affairs Committee is a reminder that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other Republican lawmakers care far more about pressing the culture wars than addressing real challenges facing Texans, like COVID and a fragile power grid, Texas Freedom Network Political Director Carisa Lopez said today.

“In a session that’s nearly half over, the focus on passing extreme anti-abortion bills is yet another stunning example of failed leadership,” Lopez said. “Despite a global pandemic that has killed more than 45,000 Texans and a fragile power grid that left millions of us freezing in the dark last month, Dan Patrick and Republican lawmakers remain focused on trying to ban women from getting an abortion. Legislators should be working to expand access to health care right now, including Medicaid coverage for low-income families, not trying to further limit access to reproductive health care.”

The Senate State Affairs Committee is hearing testimony on seven anti-abortion bills, including a ban so early that most women have no idea they are pregnant at that point. Another bill would ban abortion almost entirely, even requiring a woman to carry to term a pregnancy that results from rape or incest or in the case of a lethal fetal diagnosis. Such a ban would go into effect if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, which abortion opponents hope is possible following the appointment of anti-abortion justices by former President Trump.

The lack of safety measures like requiring masks at the Capitol will likely hold down the number of people willing to risk their health to testify in person today. So opponents of the anti-abortion bills under consideration are taking to social media to post their own “virtual” testimony, including videos, under the hashtags #TXDeservesBetter and #TXLege.

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The Texas Freedom Network (tfn.org) is a grassroots organization of religious and community leaders and young Texans building an informed and effective movement for equality and social justice.

Texas Civil Rights Project

The supporters of #HB6 and #SB7 challenged people to “read the bills and point to voter suppression.” Today, 63 civil rights orgs have gladly accepted that challenge & are releasing two joint statements outlining some of the sections that would harm voters the most #txlege pic.twitter.com/qvox…