Senate Bill 22 prevents state and local governments from partnering with agencies and organizations that preform abortions. The partnership does not have to be related to the abortion procedure, it simply has to give value to the establishment. The impact of this bill in the long run will be to defund such agencies.
The bill was subject to twenty five amendments by the time it was passed. Although there were 25 amendments in total, many were tabled, a few were withdrawn, one was failed, and one was adopted. The amendment that was adopted was a section submitted by Johnathan Stickland of the House of Representatives. The proposal was that if any provision of the bill was found to be illegal or unenforceable, “the remaining applications of that provision… may not be affected.” This amendment voids only the provision that is considered illegal or unenforceable, but the people are left liable for the remainder of the bill. This in turn means that if any person disobeys any portion of the law they are still subject to the consequences.
Many people were confused and taken back by the new bill. Abortion has always been a topic of conversation that tends to divide the population. The argument is: if the government is going to defund an organization such as Planned Parenthood, how are they going to make up for the services that are no longer available? Jessica Burroughs said:
All I am trying to highlight is the hypocrisy of this bill. You claim you want to save lives so you try and destroy abortion. Okay, sounds good. But do you want to put more funding into the states’ adoption system? No. Do you want to make contraceptives easier to get for minors so the possibility of pregnancy is decreased? No. Sadly, personal morals overtake societal needs.
She is right. Health insurance providers require the insured to have a mandatory preventive care exam every year. The preventive care is one of the many services offered by clinics like Planned Parenthood and the fact that they are being defunded means that the government is intentionally putting the community at risk. Government does not agree on universal healthcare because that would be “socializing medicine” but they are putting entire populations in jeopardy and not taking any responsibility for their health or safety. According to the City of Houston’s 2019 Legislative report, Planned Parenthood is the second largest safety-net provider in the case of a public health emergency. Planned Parenthood offers the people with resources that not even the state has available to them in times of despair.
Greg Abbot just signed a new $250 billion dollar budget in 2019. This budget was a 16% increase from the budget set two years back but there was no major difference in the health insurance budget. In fact, health and human services only received a 1% increase while, Medicaid and the federal-state health insurance programs for the poor and disabled is facing a $900 million cut. This is reflective of the concerns of people such as Burrough’s, but with an almost unanimous vote in the Senate and a majority vote in the House in favor of Senate Bill 22 demonstrates the lack of concern. As the conservative morals of state prevail, the hope for a progressive future grows dimmer. The impact is bigger than just one organization, it is populations, communities, and lives that are left at stake.
The provisions of the bill extend the prohibition of partnerships to establishments even affiliated with abortion clinics. By definition, an affiliate is a person or entity who enters into with another person or entity a legal relationship created of governed by at least one written instrument. Even if they do not perform abortions themselves, the legal relantionship such as common ownership or management makes them an affiliate of that clinic. This affiliation then makes that person or entity, ineligible for any partnerships with the state and local governments and therefore leaves them with less funds and resources to work with themselves. This bill creates a major gap between the community and its healthcare providers.
It is important to consider the repercussions of every law. What the government fails to consider or chooses to ignore today, will come to light in the years to come. As the state continues to have more and more restrictive measures that put their constituents at risk, the more vocal the people will get. Senate Bill 22 was drafted by a conservative state but it impacts the lives of the progressive people in the state.
If you are wondering how Senate Bill 22 is affecting you personally, a family lawyer in Arlington, Texas can explain it in detail. Contact a law firm today.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm for their insight into Senate Bill 22.