Texas Special Session May Cover Planned Parenthood, Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 1, 2011   |   12:58PM   |   Austin, TX

The Texas legislature, unable to complete its work on the state budget, was forced to accept the call from Governor Rick Perry to enter into a special legislative session to complete its work. The special session may also see a debate over abortion.

Joe Pojman of the Texas Alliance for Life says one state legislator has filed a measure that will pick up on the ongoing debate over whether to cancel state taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

“The Legislature failed to fully defund Planned Parenthood during the regular session,” he said. “Gov. Perry has called a special session so we have another chance to defund Planned Parenthood.”

“Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) has filed Senate Bill 7 to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for all family planning funds. Please call your state senator and urge him to support this bill,” Pojman added.

Meanwhile, Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick reintroduced his bill that would limit the RU 486 abortion drug. The mifepristone abortion pill has already killed dozens of women worldwide, including several women in the United States, and has injured 1,100 women in the U.S. alone as of 2006 FDA figures.

The original measure, HB 3408 and SB 1780, was inspired by model legislation developed by Americans United for Life and sponsored by Rep. Jodie Laubenberg and Sen. Dan Patrick. It would regulate the dispensing of abortion inducing drugs and would require that they can only be dispensed in accordance with the FDA drug label. The bill would further require that a licensed physician must do a physical examination of the woman before prescribing the sometimes-deadly drugs.

The initial bill would make violating the law a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine, and allowed for civil remedies for women injured by abortion practitioners under the law. The new bill, SB 21, does not include the penalties but allows the Texas Medical Board to take disciplinary action against abortion practitioners.

SB 1790 that passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee during the regular legislative session.

During the hearing on the bill Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood center director, addressed the legislation both from her professional experience as a clinic operator in Bryan, Texas, and from her personal life story, having gone through an RU 486 abortion herself.

And Charmaine Yoest, the AUL president, noted that abortion practitioners are increasingly expanding their market share of abortions through prescription drugs.

“Women and girls are vulnerable to dangerous drugs cavalierly distributed in ways that the drug manufacturers do not advise. This kind of off-label drug use can have deadly consequences,” she told LifeNews.com.

The bill has the support of Texas Alliance for Life, which says the measure would help stop “Planned Parenthood’s off-label use of this dangerous drug.”

Planned Parenthood previously told women using it to use the drug vaginally instead of orally, as recommended by the FDA. That causes the introduction of bacteria that resulted in lethal infections causing their deaths.

Although Planned Parenthood eventually changed its protocol to follow the FDA suggestion to take the drug orally, it still dispenses improper doses of the drug that could still place women at risk.

Rather than backing down from dispensing the abortion drug, Planned Parenthood is increasingly giving it to women, and a 2010 survey of Planned Parenthood abortion centers finds a higher number are giving women the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug.

The number of locations dispensing the dangerous abortion drug has risen 130 percent since its last national survey, even though the overall number of Planned Parenthood centers is on the decline.

In January 2008, RU 486 maker Danco Laboratories announced approximately 13 percent of all abortions in the United States involve mifepristone — a number that may seem low but it is double the number of women who used the abortion drug in 2001.

The report also showed 57 percent of places that do abortions now have the abortion drug, compared with just 33 percent in 2001. Ultimately, Danco indicated that 840,000 women in the United States have had abortions with its dangerous drug – a number that is very likely over one million in the two and a half years that have passed.

According to FDA reports as of December 2006, there have now been eight known deaths associated with mifepristone in the U.S., nine life-threatening incidents, 116 blood transfusions, and 232 hospitalizations. In total, more than 1,100 women have had medical problems after using the drug as of that date. The Obama administration has not published new totals, which could have well over 1,500 women in the United States alone facing significant problems after using the mifepristone abortion drug.

ACTION: Contact your Texas legislators here and urge support for the legislation.