In addition to key reforms to protect the lives of aborted children born alive (HB 16) and to prohibit local subsidies to abortion providers (SB 22), the Texas Legislature enacted a number of measures to increase protections for pregnant women and the unborn.
Senate Bill 24 strengthens the informed consent requirement to an abortion. Current law requires a physician to provide a woman seeking an abortion with certain information, such as the medical risks of the procedure. In cases in which the physician is permitted to provide this information over the phone, SB 24 requires that the call be a private, one-on-one call. The bill further requires that the physician (or the physician’s designee) personally hand required informational material to the woman seeking the abortion. As the bill author noted, there are indications that some abortion providers are currently ignoring the requirements in current law that ensure a woman gives informed consent to an abortion.
House Bill 2271 permits the Attorney General to use a portion of the revenue generated from “Choose Life” specialty license plates to advertise that funds raised from the issuance of these plates are used to make grants to nonprofit organizations which provide counseling to pregnant women who are considering placing their unborn child for adoption. Because there are very likely many people in the state who would participate in this program if they were aware of its existence, the bill should result in increased funding for an alternative to abortion.