The Texas state House has approved a pro-life bill that will help stop rubber stamping teen abortions via a broken judicial bypass system that is meant to protect teenagers from abuse rather than allowing virtually any teen to have an abortion without parental knowledge.
With a deadline to pass House bills looming, the Texas House of Representatives approved House Bill 3994 on a 93-46 vote.
Texas Right to Life, a pro-life group lobbying in favor of the legislation, says the bill reforms the process by which minors seek permission from a judge to undergo secret abortions without any parental involvement. It says HB 3994, sponsored by Representative Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), addresses these loopholes to strengthen parental rights and to protect pregnant teens.
“Facing and defeating more than a dozen weakening amendments by House Democrats on second reading, HB 3994 was successfully amended by Representatives Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) and Stephanie Klick (R-North Richland Hills) to make the bill an even stronger Pro-Life initiative,” the group told LifeNews.com. “Texas Right to Life with the help of many Pro-Life legislators have made reforming the loophole-ridden judicial bypass system a top priority for several sessions. Multiple bills on the issue were filed in the 84th Legislative Session seeking to amend and tighten the many escape clauses that allow pregnant minors to be shepherded through a broken judicial system and into the doors of abortion centers.”
Texas Right to Life General Counsel Emily Kebodeaux commented on the bill’s passage.
“After long hours of intense debate on the House Floor, the Pro-Life movement in Texas saw a huge victory through the passage of House Bill 3994. The final version of the bill encompasses many needed reforms to the judicial process available to minors seeking an abortion without involvement from their parents. This judicial bypass process should be written to protect minors from abuse as well as from being escorted through the loopholes of the process by the abortion industry trying to enhance their profit margin,” she said.
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The pro-life bill addresses the problematic issue of judge shopping — where abortions clinic attorneys seek out abortion-friendly judges who will rubber stamp teen abortions and rarely allow parents to know when their minor daughter is considering an abortion.
HB 3994 limits “forum-shopping” by abortion attorneys, changes the court venue requirements, requires judges and abortionists to report abuse immediately, and ends the practice of automatically granting the bypass if the judge does not rule on the petition.
“HB 3994, as amended, marks the first Pro-Life bill passed by the House of Representatives during this 84th Session of the Texas Legislature. HB 3994 is a tremendous victory in parental rights, strengthening Texas families, and protecting teens from sexual predators,” Texas Right to Life concluded. “Texas Right to Life applauds this Pro-Life bill and the legislators who were eager to work to ensure that HB 3994 would pass with the strongest language possible.”