On Monday, February 25, Representative Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) filed House Bill 2434, styled the Preborn Non-Discrimination Act (PreNDA) by its proponents. The bill, and it’s Senate companion SB 1033 by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) would prohibit all abortions after 20 weeks except for those protecting the life of the mother, and abortions performed for reason of race, gender or disability.
In addition to protecting children before birth, PreNDA would also support pro-life medical and social services for pregnant women.
At the semiannual Republican Party of Texas (RPT) convention in San Antonio last summer, the RPT endorsed PreNDA as one of its legislative priorities. It is one of four pro-life priorities for the RPT during the 2019 Session. For the 2019 Texas Legislature, close to 9,000 Republican delegates support the bill as a priority for the Republican party.
In July 2013, the Texas Legislature passed the Preborn Pain Act, which protected children from being aborted after 20 weeks, as science has proven that babies at this stage in development can feel the pain of being aborted. However, while this act was a great step forward for the pro-life movement, it failed to protect unborn children suspected to have disabilities.
In 2015, Schaefer proposed an amendment that would have prohibited abortions on the basis that the fetus had a “severe and irreversible abnormality.” While the amendment received a majority of votes, it was stalled and later passed with significant changes.
The first coauthor on HB 2434 is freshman Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco), followed by Rep. Jay Dean (R-Longview). The Senate version is jointly authored by Senators Campbell, Creighton, Hughes, Kolkhorst, Paxton, Perry, Taylor, and coauthored by Sen. Hall.
Photo: Rep. Schaefer speaking in support of Amendment 22 to Senate Bill 8, which would have been similar in effect to HB 2434. May 19, 2017.