8/11/2011 10:48 AM
Sometimes, people focused on improving public policy forget how much has already been done. When I first started covering Texas politics, conservatives had a very difficult time getting pro-life bills to the floor. The Democratic leadership used every procedural trick in the book to stop them from getting to the governor's desk. What a difference 13 years can make. Texas now has pro-life majorities in both Houses and the governor's mansion, and that's had a major impact on Texas law.
In March 2011, Americans United for Life released a report, Defending Life 2011, that ranks each state based on its laws on the pro-life issue. Texas ranked Fifth.
And that report was produced before the 2011 Legislative Session, which was great for pro-lifers. The Legislature passed a bill requiring that a mother be offered the ability to view a sonogram of the unborn child before undergoing an abortion. The Legislature also put provisions in the budget that made it more difficult for abortion providers to get state or federal health care grants. The state may well get an even higher ranking next time the report is produced. Expect Gov. Rick Perry to talk about this report, and the pro-life record of Republicans in the Texas Legislature, on the presidential campaign trail.