Featured Image

(LifeSiteNews) — Three new Texas laws to protect the sanctity of life took effect at the start of the new month Friday, including a long-awaited change to a controversial euthanasia law.

Texas Right to Life shares that, starting September 1, the Lone Star State will begin to enforce SB 412, which forbids academic institutions from restricting the academic options of a student on the basis of being pregnant or parenting and requires them to make “reasonable accommodations” for a student to care for her child; and SB 459, which gives pregnant or parenting students priority status for early class registration. Both bills were the work of Republican state Sen. Angela Paxton.

But the third bill to take effect is arguably the most significant. For years, controversy has surrounded language in the 1999 Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA), which states that if a doctor gives notification of his refusal to further treat a patient, gets approval from a committee, and no other doctor agrees to take in or help the patient, then the hospital is only obligated to provide up to 10 days of care before life-sustaining treatment (which includes giving dialysis to conscious people) is removed.

The matter was finally addressed this summer with the passage of Republican state Rep. Stephanie Klick’s HB 3162, which extends the 10-day transfer period to 25 days, bans hospitals from ending care based on “quality of life” determinations or unrelated disabilities, requires hospitals to perform certain procedures if needed to transfer them to other facilities (and does not begin the 25-day countdown until those procedures are done), allows patient surrogates to revoke physician-issued do-not-resuscitate orders, and prohibits hospitals from removing life support from anyone who is not “declared incompetent” or “mentally or physically incapable of communication.”

“This law is the most significant improvement to the Texas 10-Day Rule and the Texas Advance Directives Act in 20 years,” Texas Right to Life says. “While there are still more changes needed, this law provides crucial tools to better protect vulnerable patients.” Last month, the group explained that ultimately the countdown should be eliminated entirely, language protecting the disabled should be strengthened, and decisions to withdraw life-sustaining treatment must be able to be appealed to independent judges.

The group added that it will be “monitoring implementation” of the new laws, and “working to ensure the Legislature’s intent in these and other bills is implemented appropriately by the state agencies tasked with doing so.”

Texas is one of 15 states that currently ban all or most abortions, with available data so far indicating those states could effectively wipe out an estimated 200,000 abortions a year.

In response, abortion allies pursue a variety of tactics to preserve abortion “access,” such as easy access to abortion pills, legal protection and financial support of interstate abortion travel, attempting to enshrine “rights” to the practice in state constitutions rather than the U.S. Constitution, constructing new abortion facilities near borders shared by pro-life and pro-abortion states, and making liberal states sanctuaries for those who want to evade or violate the laws of more pro-life neighbors. 

President Joe Biden has called on Congress to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, which would not only restore but expand the Roe status quo by making it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws. The 2024 elections will determine whether Democrats retain the White House and keep or gain enough seats in Congress to make that happen.