We stood for our Lord and Jesus was and is the Victor!

Dear Friend of Life,

I am elated to share with you the epic victory for life that I was blessed to witness in person on Friday – the final passage of historic legislation in Texas to protect women and their unborn children.  Just a few minutes shy of midnight on Friday, July 12, the Texas Senate took the final vote, 19 ayes and 11 nays, to pass the omnibus pro-life bill, HB 2, which will now head to Governor Perry's desk for his signature into law.  After a lengthy, vocal, and sometimes volatile battle through the regular and two special legislative sessions, the democratic process won out and life prevailed.  This law, once in effect, will achieve four critical protections in Texas: 

  • Increase safety standards for 36 licensed abortion facilities to the level of ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) (there are 420 ASCs in Texas, including six that perform abortions; all abortion facilities will now be required to hold that level of safety);
  • Require the 18,000 RU-486 abortions performed each year in Texas to be done according to FDA safety standards;
  • Require abortionists to be qualified to treat life-threatening complications after botched abortions by having privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility; and
  • Ban abortions on unborn children beginning at five months of pregnancy (20 weeks), when scientific evidence clearly shows unborn babies can feel pain (the U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that allows abortions in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters; a majority of Texans, and Americans, are clearly polling that they favor banning abortions after 20 weeks).

It is estimated that this legislation could save upwards of 20,000 unborn lives each year in Texas!  This tremendous victory is in no small part due to all of your prayers, calls, emails and pilgrimages to Austin.  Thanks to a very generous donor, the Catholic Pro-Life Committee was able to organize four buses to Austin to transport nearly two hundred people to #stand4life in person at the Capitol just last week, joined by thousands of fellow pro-lifers from the Dallas area and throughout the state.

But we were not alone.  The abortion industry mobilized its advocates to oppose the bill – some who did so peacefully, others who gave way to the mob mentality that had successfully thwarted the passage of the bill at the close of the first special session on June 25.  A sister in Christ from Belton described the intense atmosphere on Friday in this way:

[The] yelling and screaming and shrieking went on from before the Senate began at 2:30 in the afternoon until after they called the vote at before midnight.  We could hear the screaming in the Senate Gallery but it was much more intense outside in the hallways of the rotunda.  The later it got the more frenzied it got. . . . [it] reminded me of what Elijah must have witnessed when he challenged the priests of Baal on Mt. Carmel.  When their prayers seemed to go unanswered they started getting louder and louder, and yelling and chanting and working themselves into a frenzy hoping they would invoke their god into action. . . . . Then when Elijah prayed to God, God immediately answered and showed his might.  That is what happened on Friday at the State Capitol.

As I watched intently and reported updates on the Senate proceedings from my seat in the Senate Gallery, praying for everyone's protection and the healing of so many souls in turmoil, I was reminded once again of our Holy Father Blessed John Paul II's penetrating words in Evangelium Vitae:

We are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life.’  We find ourselves not only ‘faced with’ but necessarily ‘in the midst of’ this conflict.  We are all involved and we all share in it, with the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life. (n. 28)

So many pro-life witnesses stood courageous in the midst of this very real clash against the revilement and verbal buffets of those who opposed life.  It was an incredible inspiration.  Together, we stood for Our Lord and Jesus was and is the Victor!  And thankfully, our brave legislators and capitol security were ready to deal with any threats to the peace to ensure the democratic process proceeded.  Please take a moment to contact your state senator and state representative and thank them if they voted in favor of life, as well as the Governor and Lt. Governor for their devoted support of this process.  A record of the House and Senate vote as well as links to contact information can be found below. 

Of course none of this would have been possible without the palpable presence of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, whose color blue was worn in the name of life throughout the Capitol the past three weeks.  Tomorrow ends the Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel on her feast day – this epic victory was won in the middle of that novena!  Please join us in prayers of thanks for Her intercession and the protection and healing assured by Her Son's great sacrifice for us all – including those who misguidedly fought against this monumental victory. 

Finally, if you have any pictures from trips to Austin in the last few weeks, please email them to us at so we can be sure to include them in our online #stand4life album.  Also stay tuned for an upcoming documentary, "Here", about this historic moment in Texas legislative history.  The CPLC was blessed to be a voice for life in not only this documentary but also in several news stories by various media outlets, in both English and Spanish.  

While we celebrate this historic victory for life and Our Lord, we must remain steadfast in the fight that lies ahead.  Abortion advocates have already publicly promised to fight every facet of this law in the courts, maybe all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  We must remain vigilantly prayerful that this law will be sustained and enforced in its entirety.  Thank you for your continued support of this effort on behalf of the precious unborn, and for all you do!  It is an honor to Stand4Life with all of you!

Blessings in Christ, for Life,


Karen Garnett
Executive Director
Catholic Pro-Life Committee
Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas

P.S.  Please don't forget to thank your state senator and state representative (contact here) who supported HB 2, as well as Governor Rick Perry (contact here) and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (contact here) for their #stand4life
A record of the legislators who voted for HB 2 is below. 

Senate Vote:

Ayes - 19 (voted for pro-life bill, HB 2)
Birdwell, Brian (R); Campbell, Donna (R); Carona, John (R); Deuell, Bob (R); Duncan, Robert (R); Eltife, Kevin (R); Estes, Craig (R); Fraser, Troy (R); Hancock, Kelly (R); Hegar, Glenn (R); Huffman, Joan (R); Lucio, Eddie (D); Nelson, Jane (R); Nichols, Robert (R); Patrick, Dan (R); Paxton, Ken (R); Schwertner, Charles (R); Seliger, Kel (R); Taylor, Larry (R);

Nays - 11 (voted against pro-life bill, HB 2)
Davis, Wendy (D); Ellis, Rodney (D); Garcia, Sylvia (D); Hinojosa, Chuy (D); Rodriguez, Jose (D); Uresti, Carlos (D); Van de Putte, Leticia (D); Watson, Kirk (D);West, Royce (D); Whitmire, John (D); Zaffirini, Judith (D)

CPLC Executive Director Karen Garnett and Joshua Clemmons of Dallas Catholic Charities with leadership from the Texas Catholic Conference and Texas Alliance for Life outside Capitol after successful midnight passage of HB 2
  House Vote:

Ayes - 96 (voted for pro-life bill, HB 2)
Anderson, Doc (R); Ashby, Trenton (R); Aycock, Jimmie Don (R); Bell, Cecil (R); Bohac, Dwayne (R); Bonnen, Dennis (R); Bonnen, Greg (R); Branch, Dan (R); Burkett, Cindy (R); Button, Angie (R); Callegari, Bill (R); Capriglione, Giovanni (R); Carter, Stefani (R); Clardy, Travis (R); Cook, Byron (R); Craddick, Tom (R); Creighton, Brandon (R); Crownover, Myra (R); Dale, Tony (R); Darby, Drew (R); Davis, John (R); Elkins, Gary (R); Fallon, Pat (R); Farney, Marsha (R); Fletcher, Allen (R); Flynn, Dan (R); Frank, James (R); Frullo, John (R); Geren, Charlie (R); Goldman, Craig (R); Gonzales, Larry (R); Gooden, Lance (R); Guillen, Ryan (D); Harless, Patricia (R); Harper-Brown, Linda (R); Herrero, Abel (D); Hilderbran, Harvey (R); Huberty, Dan (R); Hughes, Bryan (R); Hunter, Todd (R); Isaac, Jason (R); Keffer, Jim (R); King, Ken (R); King, Phil (R); King, Susan (R); Kleinschmidt, Tim (R); Klick, Stephanie (R); Kolkhorst, Lois (R); Krause, Matt (R); Kuempel, John (R); Larson, Lyle (R); Laubenberg, Jodie (R); Lavender, George (R); Leach, Jeff( R); Lewis, Tryon (R); Lozano, Jose (R); Martinez, Armando (D); Miller, Doug (R); Miller, Rick (R); Morrison, Geanie (R); Murphy, Jim (R); Orr, Rob (R); Otto, John (R); Paddie, Chris (R); Parker, Tan (R); Patrick, Diane (R); Perry, Charles (R); Phillips, Larry (R); Pickett, Joe (D); Pitts, Jim (R); Price, Four (R); Raney, John (R); Ratliff, Bennett (R); Riddle, Debbie (R); Ritter, Allan (R); Sanford, Scott (R); Schaefer, Matt (R); Sheets, Kenneth (R); Sheffield, J.D. (R); Sheffield, Ralph (R); Simmons, Ron (R); Simpson, David (R); Smith, Wayne (R); Smithee, John (R); Springer, Drew (R); Stephenson, Phil (R); Stickland, Jonathan (R); Taylor, Van (R); Thompson, Ed (R); Toth, Steve (R); Turner, Scott (R); Villalba, Jason (R); White, James (R); Workman, Paul (R); Zedler, Bill (R); Zerwas, John (R)

Nays - 49 (voted against pro-life bill, HB 2)
Allen, Alma (D); Alonzo, Roberto (D); Alvarado, Carol (D); Anchia, Rafael (D); Burnam, Lon (D); Canales, Terry (D); Coleman, Garnet (D); Collier, Nicole (D); Cortez, Philip (D); Davis, Sarah (R); Davis, Yvonne (D); Deshotel, Joe (D); Dukes, Dawnna (D); Dutton, Harold (D); Eiland, Craig (D); Farias, Joe (D); Farrar, Jessica (D); Giddings, Helen (D); Gonzalez, Mary (D); Gonzalez, Naomi (D); Guerra, Bobby (D); Gutierrez, Roland (D); Hernandez Luna, Ana (D); Howard, Donna (D); Johnson, Eric (D); King, Tracy (D); Lucio III, Eddie (D); Marquez, Marisa (D); Martinez Fischer, Trey (D); McClendon, Ruth Jones (D); Menendez, Jose (D); Miles, Borris (D); Moody, Joe (D); Naishtat, Elliott (D); Nevarez, Poncho (D); Oliveira, Rene (D); Perez, Mary Ann (D); Raymond, Richard (D); Reynolds, Ron (D); Rodriguez, Eddie (D); Rodriguez, Justin (D); Rose, Toni (D); Thompson, Senfronia (D); Turner, Chris (D); Turner, Sylvester (D); Villarreal, Mike (D); Vo, Hubert (D); Walle, Amando (D); Wu, Gene (D)

Present Not Voting - 1
Straus, Joe (R)

Absent - 3
Kacal, Kyle (R); Longoria, Oscar (D); Munoz, Sergio (D)