Now that Governor Perry has called a second special session we have another chance to pass some of the most comprehensive protections for the unborn in recent memory. We should have been able to pass SB5 in the last special session, but we blew it. Big time.
Here are the mistakes we made and what we need to do to succeed next go-around.
Mistake #1: We Failed to Work Together
Most people don’t know this, but there is a huge pro-life civil war waging in Texas. Several big pro-life groups refuse to talk to each other, much less work together.
The problem is that our pro-life legislators are stuck between two warring factions. When there are two conductors, the music is chaotic.
The problem is a spiritual one and the only answer is prayer. If you donate to either organization, you should let them know you want them working together.
How to Win
- Everyone needs to follow Texas Alliance for Life to get on the same page. They have by far the biggest Facebook following and did the best job giving up-to-the-minute updates last special session.
- Make sure you sign up for their email alerts if you have not done so already.
Mistake #2: We Had no Grassroots Leadership
When I got the word that Sunday would be the big push in the Texas Legislature, I went by myself to the Texas Capitol. I brought a roll of LifeTape and a marker. It turns out I was one of the only people there trying to organize any sort of grassroots effort.
What we have in the pro-life movement is Privates and Generals and very few Sergeants. The grassroots activists are ready to jump in the trenches, they just need leaders (Sergeants) in the trenches with them. No amount of Generals in the command tent make up for Sergeants in the trenches.
So, I have restarted Austin Bound4LIfe.
How to Win
We need more leaders who are willing to spend their time organizing pro-life grassroots efforts. This means making t-shirts, buttons and signs. It means bussing in activists from places like Fort Worth & San Antonio.
If you are a grassroots leader, make sure to follow the Texas Alliance for Life for information on when and where we need people to show up. We need to be ready at a moment’s notice.
Mistake #3: We Failed to Pass the Same Version of the Bill in Both Houses
This is the most obvious mistake so I won’t dwell much on it. The bill that came out of the House was great and included the fetal pain amendment, which is nice to have even though it will likely be overturned by the courts. I’m not afraid of a court battle, however. The problem is that the Senate passed the bill without the fetal pain provision.
Because the bills did not match, it had to go back to the Senate where the Democrats killed it with a filibuster and a riot.
How to Win
Someone *cough*Perry*cough* needs to put the House and Senate pro-life leaders in a room and not let them out till they have the same version of the bill.
Mistake #4: We Didn’t Use Enough Life Tape
LifeTape is catnip for journalists. They were taking photos of us the whole time. Nothing makes a journalist want to interview you more than putting tape over your mouth.
I was shocked by how many people had never seen LifeTape on someone before. Bound4Life has been doing this around the country for years. It is time we brought this powerful tool to Texas.
The wonderful thing about LifeTape is that the louder and angrier the pro-abortion protesters get, the more powerful the tape becomes. One protester looked at us and started crying. LifeTape works where words fail.
How to Win
Wear LifeTape! Pray in silence and stand for those who cannot speak for themselves. Find someone who is passing it out and ask for some. Or better yet, bring your own.
Mistake #5: We Failed to Explain the Bill
Most Texans have no idea what SB5 did. They think the bill would arbitrarily shut down abortion clinics.
The bill held abortion clinics to the same health and safety standards that we hold other surgical centers to. Surgical abortions should be treated like other forms of surgery. There is no reason why abortion centers should be held to a less safe standard. Who could be against this? These clinics could upgrade their facilities, but are too focused on making money.
How to Win
Keep to the following simple messaging:
- Abortion Hurts Women
- Abortion Hurts Babies
- Texas Women Deserve Better Than Gosnell
The voters of Texas have spoken overwhelmingly that they want this bill. The House wants the bill. The Senate wants the bill. With enough prayer and hard work, there is no reason for us not to pass a pro-life bill worthy of the Great State of Texas.
Please share this post on Facebook and join me in praying for unity in the pro-life movement.