“This will defund Planned Parenthood, stop taxpayer funding of elective abortions, and regulate adult stem cell research in Texas,” says Texas Alliance for Life. “The final step is for pro-life Gov. Rick Perry to sign this bill into law, which will defund Planned Parenthood $34 million or more over the biennium.”Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood of Central Texas closed two of its centers but did not give any reasons for shutting down the facilities.
Senate Bill 7, authored by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and Rep. John Zerwas (R-Simonton), has three significant pro-life provisions strongly supported by Texas Alliance for Life and leading pro-life organizations and individuals.
The first defunds Planned Parenthood of $34 million or more. Another provision, by Rep. Wayne Christian (R-Nacogdoches), prevents local tax funding for elective abortions by hospital districts, including Travis County’s Central Health. The third, by Rep. Rick Hardcastle (R-Vernon), allows the state to regulate autologous adult stem cell banks and encourage more live-saving treatments using adult, not embryonic, stem cells.
Jonathan Saenz, legislative director for Liberty Institute, which supported SB 7 at the Texas Capitol, too, also applauded the vote and says the bill “effectively ends taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood in Texas.
“The passing of this legislation is a defining moment in Texas history for the pro-life and taxpayer protection movement,” he said. “Texas leaders have sent a clear message: Planned Parenthood and similar abortion groups can no longer use taxpayer funds to support their agenda.”
The state budget allocated $166,030,952 to family planning. Estimates are that Planned Parenthood currently receives approximately $30 million a year in taxpayer funds in Texas, and its own annual report confirms $363 million received nationwide. More than 300 non-abortion agencies across the state qualify to provide family planning services and they do not do abortions or refer for them.