Update on Texas House Speaker Race: Chisum and Paxton Answer Survey, Straus Does Not

The following is an update of the Texas Speaker's Race from Texas Alliance for Life:

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is one of the three most powerful offices in state government, along with Governor and Lt. Governor. The Speaker controls the success or failure of bills by appointing chairs of all of the House committees and the complete membership of the powerful Calendars Committee, which must approve each bill before it can be considered by the full House. The Speaker will be elected by a majority vote of the Texas House on the first day of the next session, Tuesday, January 11.

On November 15, we hand-delivered a candidate survey to the office of each of the three candidates for House Speaker. The survey has 10 short questions on issues important to pro-life Texans, including issues regarding overturning Roe v. Wade, partial-birth abortion, public funding for embryonic stem cell research, and public funding for Planned Parenthood. This is the same survey that was sent to all candidates for Texas Senate and Representatives in the Primary Election and General Election. Both Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) and Ken Paxton (R-McKinney) responded within a day and gave answers consistent with the positions of Texas Alliance for Life. The current Speaker, Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), did not respond.

To see the responses, click on the name:

Sonogram Bill Introduced Again This Session

One of the top priorities for Texas Alliance for Life and other pro-life groups for the coming state legislative session beginning in January is the passage of the Sonogram Bill, to give a woman considering abortion the right to see the sonogram image of her unborn child and to hear the heartbeat. Presently, abortion providers can legally deny women this information. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers oppose this bill.

State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) and State Representative Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) have introduced identical pro-life sonogram bills for the upcoming state session. Senate Bill 130 and House Bill 201 require the abortion provider to perform a sonogram and the make the image and heartbeat available to the woman. She is not require to look or listen. These bills also fix loopholes in current law that prevent women from getting adequate information about the medical risks of abortion, the characteristics of the unborn child, and compassionate alternatives before consenting to an abortion. This is the same bill that Sen. Patrick introduced last session. The Senate passed it, but the House did not.

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