Texas Lawmakers Working on Abortion Bills for Next Session

The Texas legislative session is still six months away, but lawmakers are already at work on bills about issues that have already surfaced.

NBC 5 has learned that several lawmakers are already thinking about bills regarding abortion, one day after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned H.B. 2.

State Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, said he is looking into ways to fully defund Planned Parenthood.

"Our aim in filing and drafting and considering legislation in the Texas House and Senate will be to protect human life in the womb, and, yes, and regulate and restrict abortion clinics all across the state," Leach said.

State Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, said he is looking to the Supreme Court decision to see where to go when writing a bill for the next session.

"The fight always moves on," Krause said.

Both lawmakers were co-sponsors of H.B. 2 and expect several bills to be introduced next session. State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, hopes the legislature focuses on other issues.

"I hope next session the Republican legislators will concentrate on the real priorities of this state, will stop trying to interfere in private medical decisions, and instead focus on our public school system, which is underfunded, our child protective services, which is underfunded and dysfunctional, and a variety of other things we should be focusing on in a very short window we have to address the needs of the state every two years," Turner said.

But Turner knows in a Republican-controlled House and Senate the bills are likely to come up. So he says they prepare like they have in the past.

"In those special sessions we were able to drag it out, get a lot of things on the record that proved to be useful in the court proceedings, and, of course, culminating in former Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster, which brought national attention to this issue. All of those things were instrumental in the ultimate rejection of this law," Turner added.

There will also likely be a focus on so-called bathroom bills this session. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick became a national voice he opposed guidelines issued by the Fort Worth Independent School District on bathroom accommodations for transgender students. Turner feels with so much attention on social issues, others like education and health care go to the wayside.

"Absolutely it does. We have 140 days every two years to address all the needs of this state, so every day we spend wasted talking about social issues, just to satisfy the Tea Party base, that's one less day we have to focus on the issues that really matter," Turner said.

But Leach thinks everything can get done.

"Absolutely, the people of Texas should be assured that their representatives are representing them in the capital. That includes all areas of concern to constituents: building roads, investing in public education, tax reform, the pro-life cause, protecting the fundamental rights of Texans across the state. We can and we will do all of these things just as we've done over these past few legislative sessions," Leach said.

Contact Us