by Steven Ertelt
May 24, 2007
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — The Texas state House has killed three measures that enjoyed the support of the pro-life community. One would have changed the 10-day futile care law that allows hospitals to make it tough for families to get medical care for their loved ones and two other measures would have helped reduce the number of abortions in the state.
The Texas House defeated all three bills on Tuesday.
They included Senate Bill 920, requiring abortion practitioners to give women contemplating an abortion a chance to see an ultrasound and Senate Bill 785, which would have increased abortion reporting requirements to detail why women have abortions so those reasons can be addressed.
The futile care measure would have increased the 10-day window to 21 days under which families could find a new medical facility to treat a patient after his initial medical center decided to withdraw lifesaving medical treatment.
Free Market Foundation President Kelly Shackelford told KBTV in response to the defeat of the bills that pro-life Texans would be very upset that state legislatures couldn’t get the measures to the governor.
The Senate has already signed off on all three pieces of legislation.
The House did not debate or vote on any of the bills but they died because the state legislature met its deadline and failed to bring them up. The futile care measure was just two bills away on the agenda from being heard when the legislature closed down for the evening.
"We ran out of time," said Rep. Dianne Delisi, R-Temple, House sponsor of the futile care bill told the Houston Chronicle.
Lanore Dixon, who battled St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital over care for her sister Andrea Clark, was furious in her interview with the newspaper.
"It’s outrageous that people will have to continue to live with the horrible law," she said.
"It’s too bad that people are going to continue to die after just 10 days," Dixon said, "but maybe the outrage will cause the Legislature to finally do something next session."
The bills were victims of their placement on the list of measure to be heard — they were close to the bottom — and sponsored accused Democrats of purposefully lengthening the debate with a stalling tactic known as "chubbing."
Sen. Dan Patrick and Rep. Frank Corte, sponsors of the pro-life measures, indicated the delaying tactics killed all three of the pro-life measures and Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Houston Democrat, admitted that her party was ready to kill all three bills.