FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/19/2015
THREE MAJOR PIECES OF PRO-LIFE LEGISLATION PASS THE TEXAS HOUSE
Last Thursday, three major pieces of pro-life legislation, all co-authored by Representative Andrew Murr, were passed by the Texas House of Representatives. The measures will further protect the unborn, while also advancing the civil liberties of Texans who are hospitalized at the end of their lives. Murr said that while there is still much work to be done, these bills will go a long way towards protecting life in all forms.
"Life is precious in every form." Murr said. "Without it, little else matters. Of course there is no cure-all measure to protect against those who threaten it, but we must take every opportunity to codify into law our belief that God should be the arbiter of when life begins and when it ends."
The first of the three bills to pass was HB 3374, authored by Representative Geanie Morrison, which requires physicians to provide educational materials to expecting parents whose child is diagnosed with down syndrome. Rep. Murr co-authored an amendment to the bill expressly prohibiting those materials from advocating for abortion as an option to terminate the pregnancy.
The second bill, HB 3994, reforms the "judicial bypass" process for abortions on minors. Under current law, a judge can issue an order for a doctor to perform an abortion on a minor without notifying or obtaining consent from her parents. This legislation, authored by Representative Geanie Morrison and co-authored by Representative Murr, will limit "forum shopping" by attorneys who are looking to change the court venue to a more favorable jurisdiction for obtaining a court order. It will also end the practice of automatically granting the bypass if the judge does not rule on the petition.
Finally, Representative Murr proudly joined as a co-author of HB 3074, a bill offered by Representative Drew Springer which will make much needed reforms of the Texas Advanced Directives Act ("TADA"). TADA allows a hospital committee or physician to remove life-sustaining medical treatment from a patient (including food and water) with only ten days notice, regardless of the wishes of the patient and his or her family. The new legislation will limit the withdrawal of food and water to prevent involuntary dehydration and the starvation of patients; a sometimes too-frequent occurrence in Texas hospitals today.
These pro-life victories passed the House with the support of all major pro-life groups in Texas, including Texas Right to Life, Texas Alliance for Life, and Texans for Life Coalition. All three of these pieces of legislation are now in the Texas Senate and, if passed, will head to the Governor's desk. Murr noted, "I am proud to stand with my colleagues and support legislation protecting the most defenseless members of our society. These three bills will save lives, and I appreciate the tremendous effort and energy that various members put forth to see them passed by the Texas House of Representatives."