Little by little, Texas lawmakers have been working to cut off all government streams of support of the nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood.
On Tuesday, the state Senate gave initial approval to Senate Bill 22, which would prohibit state and local tax dollars from funding abortion providers, KRIS-TV reports. The vote was 20-11, and a final vote is expected Wednesday.
“Texas taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize the abortion industry with their tax dollars, abortion providers unnaturally end the lives of almost 60,000 of our tiniest and most vulnerable Texans every year,” said state Sen. Donna Campbell, a sponsor of the bill. “That fact alone should make them ineligible to receive tax dollars. I’m proud of the 20 colleagues in the Senate who joined me on this important bill.”
In all of America, Planned Parenthood aborts about 330,000 unborn babies a year, according to its own annual reports. Its president, Leana Wen, also admitted recently that abortion is Planned Parenthood’s “core mission.”
The Eagle reports more about the Texas plan:
Anti-abortion advocates support the measure in part because it would terminate “sweetheart rent deals,” which is just one of the ways local governments partner with abortion providers. Campbell, a New Braunfels Republican, has singled out one key target during the bill’s hearing: Planned Parenthood’s $1-per-year rental agreement with the city of Austin.
Meanwhile, abortion rights advocates rail against the bill as an attack on local control. The bill would “tie the hands of cities and counties,” according to Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director for Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. She also worried that the language of SB 22, which would limit “transactions” between the government and abortion providers, is too broad and would target more than just the downtown Austin rental deal.
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The Austin deal, which the City Council approved in November, gave Planned Parenthood the option to renew its lease for the next 20 years.
Nicole Hudgens, a policy analyst for pro-life group Texas Values, spoke against the lease at the November meeting.
“This lease agreement is not fair to East Austin residents. It’s not fair that Planned Parenthood can rent this property that’s owned by taxpayers for the grand total of $1 per year. This property is worth over $111,000,” Hudgens said.
However, local news outlets reported that Austin City Council members claimed the affordable lease was good because it actually “saves people’s lives.”
Texas has been a leader in states’ efforts to defund the abortion giant of tax dollars. In January, it won a victory when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas may stop giving about $3.1 million in tax dollars through Medicaid to Planned Parenthood.
Texas tried to end Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding through Medicaid in 2016, but the abortion giant sued. The state cited evidence of fraudulent over-billing and potentially illegal sales of aborted baby body parts as reasons for ending the contract.