I am glad that the rules are explicit about the duty to report sexual or physical abuse.
Here’s a statement from Texas Alliance for Life, with links to the ruling:
Austin, TX — Today the Texas Supreme Court released rules for how courts handle judicial bypass proceedings regarding secret abortions on minors girls without parental notification or consent. The rules were created in response to HB 3994, authored by Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) and sponsored by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and strongly supported by Texas Alliance for Life.
The following statement is attributed to Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life:
We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s strong rules regarding the judicial bypass process for abortions on minor girls. These bring to fruition a 10-year effort by Texas Alliance for Life and a coalition of pro-life organizations to protect minor girls in Texas from abortion. In 2005, the Texas Legislature passed a bill requiring doctors to obtain the consent of a parent before performing abortions on minor girls. In 2015, the Legislature passed, and Gov. Abbott signed into law, HB 3994 to reform the judicial bypass process by which a judge can allow abortions on minors without parental consent. The reforms closed loopholes and increased protections for the minors from abuse. The Texas Supreme Court has faithfully implemented House Bill 3994 in a way that will best protect the well being of minor girls.
Here is a link to the Texas Supreme Court’s order issuing the rules: http://www.txcourts.gov/media/1225647/159246.pdf.
HB 3994 was one of five major pro-life bills and numerous other pro-life provisions passed in 2015. Here is a summary.
Governor Rick Perry is pushing back against the Obama Administration’s threat to kill our Texas Women’s Health Program due to law passed by the Legislature last June. The Governor’s office has produced 4 new videos (one of which includes me) explaining that the State is prepared to ensure that women are able to access continuing comprehensive care under these programs.
If you only have time for one, watch Carol Everett’s video in which she relates that the Commissioner of Health and Human Services has identified 2500 doctors willing to participate with the Well Woman Program and Texas’ Family Planning, even in rural areas where there has never been a Planned Parenthood clinic. There are also videos from former Waco PP Executive Director Abby Johnson, Texas Alliance for Life’s Executive Director Joe Pojman, Ph.D., and me.
The videos can be viewed at the Governor’s YouTube page and via the Office of the Governor website. They are the beginning of a series of announcements and news releases in hopes of convincing the Obama Administration and Secretary Sebelius to preserve these programs. Time is short as the current Medicaid waiver is due to expire at the end of March.
Stop and think about it: What the media is reporting as a single crisis is really the effect of two separate events. One is the cut in funding to Family Planning that went into effect in October, along with many other cuts that were made in order to balance the State budget according to the Texas Constitution while paying for Medicaid for children and education. The second is what is happening in a few clinics that are partners with other clinics that do abortions and are panicking because they are about to lose State funds.
Where are the reports about the thousands of providers who have agreed to see patients under both these programs?
The media is also acting as though the law prohibiting anyone who performs or refers to abortions, or who is a business partner with an abortion provider is brand new or that the Governor got up one morning and changed the law. No, the House and Senate of the 82nd Texas Legislature deliberated for months on Medicaid funding, including the best way to provide care under the Family Planning Title X funds and the Medicaid funded Women’s Health Program. They continued the old prohibition on funding affiliates.
The only change is that the Attorney General has clarified that “affiliates” include organizations that are part of the same national corporation.
The media and President Obama also ignore that the legislature won’t meet until January, 2013, so there is no way to change the law that appropriates State Tax funds.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you: I was nervous as I could be and I spent too much time giving a list of my credentials. But if you’re brave, here’s my video.
In April, 2010, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance targeting Pregnancy Resource Centers (AKA “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”). The Liberty Institute , the Law of Life Project, the Texas Center for the Defense of Life and the Alliance Defense fund have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Austin Life Care and three other centers in Federal Court, citing free speech violations.
Disclaimer: These organizations are joined and supported by Texas Alliance for Life, whose Executive Director, Dr. Joe Pojman is shown in this photo. I’m on the Board of Directors of TAL.
(Seriously? The City of Austin doesn’t believe that it’s obvious to anyone that “Austin Life Care” is not an abortion provider??)
According to an article by “We Are Austin. com” published at the time, the ordinance was aimed at “limited services pregnancy centers,” and could result in fines:
The ordinance says two signs in black and white must read in English and Spanish, that states: “This center does not provide abortions or refer to abortion providers. This center does not provide or refer to providers of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved birth control drugs and medical devices.”
Each sign must be at least eight and a half by 11 inches and the text must be in a minimum font size of 48 point.
Before the vote, council members questioned how the ordinance will be enforced. The city’s legal team said Austin police will not enforce it, no one will be arrested for not posting the sign, and that enforcement will be complaint-based only. Pregnancy centers that do violate the ordinance, however, can face a fine of $250 for the first offense, $350 for a second offense, and at least $450 for a third offense.
Joining Austin Life Care are the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, the South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center and the Catholic Charities of Central Texas‘ Gabriel Project Life Center. ALC has posted the signs, but the other three haven’t done so.
The ordinance, which is the first of its kind in Texas, requires each PRC to post a sign at its entrance stating it does not provide or refer for abortions or birth control services. Two of the pregnancy centers refer married clients to primary physicians for birth control, and the third center provides information to women about natural family planning and abstinence, two recognized forms of birth control.
There is no requirement forcing abortion facilities to post signs or provide disclaimers stating what services they do not provide for women.