Opponents of abortion in Texas may be on the verge of seeing historic legislation passed that will make terminating a pregnancy less accessible. The State House passed a bill Wednesday (July 10) that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals and only be able to perform abortions at surgical centers as opposed to abortion clinics. The bill also bans abortion past the twentieth week of pregnancy.
The bill now goes to the Senate which could vote on it as early as today. Most observers believe the bill will pass, but that hasn’t stopped the pro-abortion forces from trying to block it, and here’s where politics gets a little ironic. Representative Ruth McClendon, D-San Antonio, introduced an amendment to the bill that would increase funding for foster care. Her reasoning: fewer abortions would mean more unintended pregnancies and thus more demands on the foster care system.
Perhaps she’s assuming that all of those moms-to-be will automatically abandon their children, but our experience in counseling women who face unplanned pregnancies is that once they understand they have viable options that give their child an opportunity to live, they often choose life.
While we would whole-heartedly welcome increased funding of foster care, funding pregnancy counseling services would be a better response to meet the needs of women facing unplanned pregnancies. Children are a gift from God and deserve the right to be embraced within a loving caring family. We often have the privilege of counseling women who have considered abortion a viable option to their unplanned pregnancy and have witnessed their relief when they have been presented with other options.
The battle for life is not over in Texas. Although the bill is expected to pass today, nothing is certain until Governor Rick Perry signs it into law. Even then, pro-abortion forces have vowed to challenge it in the courts. But the experience of Texas pro-life advocates ought to reinvigorate all of us who value life. Despite the media’s reporting that pro-abortion sentiment is increasing in America, a Marist Poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus reports that fifty-six percent of Americans feel that abortion should either “always be illegal or legal only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of a mother.”