AUSTIN (ChurchMilitant.com) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed legislation banning dismemberment abortions, a gruesome form of killing the unborn by ripping them apart alive limb from limb. This took place after Abbott called a special session of the Texas legislature beginning on July 18 to address a 19-item agenda. This agenda includes four pro-life bills and one involving a transgender bathroom bill.
"Because of their inability or refusal to pass a simple law ... I'm announcing a special session to complete that unfinished business," Abbott said to the press. "But if I'm going to ask taxpayers to foot the bill for a special session, I intend to make it count."
Texas Right to Life is praising the move and has sponsored two of the pro-life bills in the docket for passage. "The atrocity of abortion needs to end," the group told Church Militant, "and the life-saving amendment in SB8, the Dismemberment Abortion Ban, furthers that goal by acknowledging the humanity of the preborn child and launching a blow at the undergirding of Roe v. Wade."
Texas SB8, signed by Abbott on Tuesday, was authored by State Sen. Charles Schwertner. Schwertner says the law will "ensure the dignity and protection for the unborn child." The bill was originally filed as HB844 by Rep. Stephanie Klick, and as SB415 by Sen. Charles Perry.
SB8 contains a prohibition on fetal tissue donation and requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated. This makes the Lone Star State the eighth state to pass regulations of this nature on the abortion industry.
Ingrid Duran, National Right to Life state legislative director, remarked, "The Texas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is a vital step in protecting pregnant mothers and their unborn children from being subject to such a dehumanizing experience."
This is the second time a pro-life law has been passed during a special session of the state legislature. In 2013, following an 11-hour filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, then-Gov. Rick Perry called a special session to pass HB2, the law containing a 20-week ban on abortion, as well as requirements that abortion mills meet minimum health and safety standards. The bill was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016, claiming the law placed an "undue burden" on mothers seeking to abort their children.
Other bills on the to-do list in July include SB575, which will ban insurance companies from covering abortion except in cases of medical emergency. Senator Larry Taylor, the bill's author, said the law was about protecting Texans from paying for abortion.
"This bill is all about choice," he said. "They'll just have to come up with another way to pay for it other than having people across Texas who buy insurance be forced to pay for something they don't believe in."
The special session will address reform of do-not-resuscitate orders placed on patients, after previous legislation was prevented from reaching the House floor by what Texas Right to Life has called "political games and last-minute scheduling."
The special session is also going after so-called transgender bathrooms. "At a minimum, we need a law that protects the privacy of our children in our public schools," Abbott commented.