Senator Bob Deuell
Texas Senate, District 2
P.O. Box 12068 Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711

April 11, 2005
CONTACT: Don T. Forse, Jr.
(512) 463-0102

Deuell Adds Pro-Life Amendment to Women's Health Bill
- Will Prevent State Money from Going to Abortion Providers -

AUSTIN - On Wednesday, State Senator Robert F. Deuell (R - Greenville), added an amendment to Senate Bill 747 that will prevent taxpayer money from going to organizations that provide elective abortions.

Senate Bill 747 requires the Health and Human Services Commission to create a Medicaid waiver program expanding eligibility to certain low-income women for preventative health services, increasing access to these services and allowing the state to draw down additional federal Medicaid funding.

Senator Deuell's amendment would prevent any money from this pilot being used to fund elective abortions. Part of the amendment's language stated:

"The department shall ensure the money spent under the demonstration project, regardless of the funding source, is not used to perform or promote elective abortions. The department, for the purpose of the demonstration project, may not contract with entities that perform or promote elective abortions or are affiliates of entities that perform or promote elective abortions."

Deuell said this program should be about women's health, and not elective abortions.

"The purpose of this bill is to address the comprehensive health care needs of women," Deuell said. "There is health care available in many other venues that do not deal with abortion."

"We do not want taxpayer money to go to entities that provide abortion or abortion counseling," Deuell said. "We just feel that Texans should not have to pay for abortion services, and at the same time we want women to have access to preventative health care."

"It's a good program to provide these preventative health services to women," Deuell said. "I worked at a federally qualified health center, I'm still involved with rural and indigent care, but we have to respect the taxpayers and we have to respect federal and state law about providing abortions. There are many of us who do not want to give money to organizations that provide abortion services and we are providing access to those organizations and clinics that don't provide those services."