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Rep.Leach, Jeff

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Texas House Passes "Born-Alive Infant Protection Act;" Adopts the Strongest Protections in the Nation for Infants Who Survive Abortion  print page

by: Rep. Leach, Jeff
04/17/2019

AUSTIN - Today, in a bi-partisan showing of support, the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 16, known as the "Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act." Authored by Representative Jeff Leach, this landmark legislation provides the strongest legal protections in the nation for infants who survive an abortion.

From the floor of the Texas House, Representative Leach issued the following statement: "What we have recently seen in Virginia, New York and Washington, D.C., should shock the collective conscience of our Nation. The callous disregard for human life and the refusal to stand against infanticide exhibited by many elected leaders cannot go unanswered. With the passage of the Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, the Lone Star State is sending a clear message that we will not remain silent and we will not rest in the fight for life. As the author of House Bill 16, I am proud to join my colleagues in setting in stone the strongest protections in the Nation for babies who survive abortion and, along with them, invite and encourage pro-life legislators in other states to follow Texas’ lead.”

During public testimony on House Bill 16, three abortion survivors offered compelling testimony by sharing their real-life stories, revealing the substantive impact that House Bill 16 would have on infants born-alive during an abortion. House Bill 16 is designed to strengthen the protections afforded to infants who survive abortion procedures by creating a physician-patient relationship between the physician and the surviving infant at the time of birth, thus requiring the highest standards of medical care to be afforded to the baby. The bill creates statutory civil causes of action to pursue against the physician, in addition to criminal penalties, should the physician fail to provide the appropriate medical treatment to the child. Further, the bill provides a reporting mechanism by which a person who has knowledge of a physician’s failure to provide the appropriate standard of medical care can report any incident to the Office of the Attorney General. Importantly, the legislation outlines strong protections to ensure that the woman who seeks the abortion is shielded from any liability, in accordance with existing state law.

The Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act has widespread support from various statewide organizations, including Texas Alliance for Life, Texans for Life, Texas Right to Life, Human Coalition, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, Concerned Women for America and Texas Values. Further, the bill is supported by Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, U.S. Senator John Cornyn, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Comptroller Glenn Hegar. With a final vote of 94-2, Representative Leach is joined by a strong coalition of bi-partisan lawmakers who have expressed their commitment to this legislation, including the following Joint Authors: Representative Greg Bonnen, M.D., Representative Stephanie Klick, Representative Tom Oliverson, M.D. and Representative Geanie Morrison.

CONTACT: Mary McClure

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