Oh, Jeff—excuse us, Chairman Jeff—where to begin…Of course, the 🍒 on the 💩 sundae of your committee chairmanship was setting a bill for hearing that would make abortion a capital crime potentially punishable by death when you had no intention of voting it out of committee. When our intern testified in opposition to the bill, you accused her of laughing during the hearing, but she had been in the overflow room, and was not the person who was laughing. You then proceeded to ask baseless and inflammatory questions about later abortion care. We’d use this space to further set the record straight, but Texas Monthly beat us to it: you’re the worst.
One of the remaining “Bad Matts,” he never met a dishonest argument or rhetorical question based on a false premise he didn’t like. He asked harassing and irrelevant questions on abortion whenever he got a chance and tag-teamed with Leach to harass and bully our intern. He proposed the budget amendment to direct more money to fake clinics while insisting they were accountable and had appropriate oversight because they reported some data.
In addition to being anti-abortion, Sen. Lucio subjects the public to patronizing, patriarchal, and often misinformed speeches about abortion and healthcare. This session he showed his ignorance by seeking to forbid doctors from providing state-mandated anti-abortion information by telephone, something rarely done after 2011 when doctors were also forced to perform unnecessary state-mandated sonograms.
Noble filed a bill targeting Planned Parenthood that would prohibit local governments from partnering with abortion providers to provide any healthcare or education. A brave move for a freshman legislator—unfortunately, she was not brave enough to debate the merits of her bill or amendments offered to it. Not exactly showing the courage of her convictions.
Tinderholt once again filed his bill to make abortion punishable by death so that people will take more “personal responsibility.”
Capriglione filed two bills banning abortion. When we had the temerity to testify against one in committee, he said the quiet part out loud and claimed we supported killing babies.
Known far and wide as the “Bad Donna,” she sneered her way through another session while using her position as a senator to deny Texans healthcare and prevent local governments from taking up the slack where the state with the highest rate of uninsured has failed.
In addition to filing a bill that would allow her indicted husband AG Ken Paxton to issue exemptions to the securities fraud law he was indicted for, she filed a bill that would require anyone seeking an abortion to get non-medical coercive counseling in addition to the state-mandated misinformation doctors are already required to provide. We’re sure it is just a coincidence there is a contractor in her district ready to do the job and take the government handout to advance their anti-abortion agenda.
Sen. Hancock filed the cruelest bill of the session, which would have removed the ability for Texans with a pregnancy that was not compatible with life to have a medically indicated non-elective abortion. This is a policy proposal so noxious that it was voted down by the Texas House when it was offered as an amendment in 2017.
Sen. Nelson was the longest-serving chair of the Senate Health and Human Services committee and now chairs the Senate Finance committee. She was also one of the architects of dismantling the women’s health and family planning safety nets in Texas, which provided contraception and cancer screenings. She was the instigator in getting a respected researcher at the state health department removed because the data showed her programs served fewer patients, so it should not have been a surprise when she aggressively questioned another researcher from UT-Austin about the source of his data. The source of the data was the state. It’s irresponsible for someone in a position as powerful as the chair of the Senate Finance committee to be so actively ignorant of the harmful outcomes of the policy and budget choices they have made.
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We tracked all of the votes on abortion-related legislation and amendments in each chamber of the Texas Legislature and evaluated them based on our values and policy goals of ensuring that once a person has decided to have an abortion, they can get the healthcare they need, in their community, without shame or stigma.
All of the votes each member cast were converted into a percentage based on the votes they took. If a member was absent when a vote was taken, it was not counted toward their final score.
There were ten members who acted especially atrociously and with dangerous disregard for the facts and women’s health. They can be found in the Burn Book above. We also want to highlight members who took extra efforts to support abortion rights and access by authoring bills or amendments. Those members are indicated with a 💜 in the full scorecard here.