Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Glenn Hegar, District 18

For Immediate Release
January 24, 2011
Contact: Lisa Craven
(512) 463-0118

State Senator Glenn Hegar Files Legislation to Stop Obama
Administration from Subsidizing Abortions in Texas

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Today, State Senator Glenn Hegar (Republican of Katy) filed legislation at the Texas Capitol which, if passed, will strike a blow to the controversial federal healthcare reform law passed last year by the U.S. Congress. The measure, Senate Bill 404, takes advantage of a provision in the healthcare reform law and would prevent the Obama Administration from using tax dollars to pay for abortions in Texas.

According to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), each state must establish a state exchange through which insurance is offered to citizens and employers. These exchanges will fund abortions and abortion services. The PPACA, however, also includes a little-known provision that allows states to pass legislation to opt out of the exchange plans that pay for abortions. Hegar's Senate Bill 404 does just that and would allow Texas to opt out of the federal government's exchange plans that finance abortions and abortion services.

"The PPACA is an unconstitutional overreach of power by the Obama Administration and the federal government," said Senator Hegar. "Since the passage of the PPACA, I have been working with my colleagues in the Texas Legislature and healthcare leaders across our state to find ways to protect Texans from the negative effects of this fiscally unsound and overly intrusive piece of federal legislation which will cost our state and its citizens billions of dollars. Senate Bill 404 represents just one of those protections. This bill protects our state's most vulnerable population, the unborn, and prevents the federal government from using Texans' hard-earned tax dollars to fund abortions."

Senator Hegar said that it is ironic that his bill to stop the overreach of the federal government comes during the anniversary of another overreach of power by an activist branch of government—the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by the United States Supreme Court on January 22nd.

"As we stop this week to mourn the 55 million aborted babies tragically lost since the Roe v. Wade decision, we are reminded that we must do everything within our power as a state and nation to prevent the further loss of life, and to stop the expansion of taxpayer funded abortions," Senator Hegar added. "I am committed to protecting the sanctity of all human life and refuse to accept abusive mandates from Washington, D.C. that threaten the security of any Texas life, whether born or unborn," Senator Hegar concluded.

Senator Hegar's legislation is expected to earn bipartisan support in the Texas Senate and House of Representatives and has been endorsed by Texas Right to Life. "Texas Right to Life hopes Senate Bill 404 is the beginning of the end of the federal assault on innocent human life and we fully endorse this important piece of legislation to keep President Obama's slush-fund for abortions out of Texas," stated Dr. Joseph Graham, President of Texas Right to Life while Dr. Joe Pojman, the Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life said "This issue is a priority. We cannot let the federal government force Texans to pay for abortions."

Five other states have passed laws, like Senate Bill 404, which allow their state health insurance exchanges to specifically exclude coverage for abortions. State Representative Todd Hunter (Republican of Corpus Christi) has filed the companion bill to Senator Hegar's bill in the Texas House of Representatives.

Senator Hegar previously served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and is now serving his second term as a Senator for Senate District 18. He is well-known throughout Texas as an advocate for the sanctity of human life. Hegar is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming rice and corn on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800s. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.