The Corner

Media Coverage on SB 5 Misses Pro-Life Progress

Wednesday afternoon, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that he would in fact call another session of the Texas state legislature. In his statement, Governor Perry made it clear that the people of Texas wanted to see the legislature take action on legislation pertaining to juvenile justice, transportation, and protecting the unborn. As such, the legislature will have ample time to consider legislation similar to SB 5. Governor Perry should be applauded. As I mentioned in my post on Wednesday, his decision to call for special session sends a clear message that unruly behavior will not be rewarded.

The media’s coverage surrounding SB 5 during the last few days has been very revealing. Many outlets have run puff pieces about state senator Wendy Davis who mounted a filibuster to block the pro-life law. However, there are a number of other stories the media have decided to ignore. First is that SB 5 enjoyed broad support in the Texas legislature. For a bill that the media spin machine relentlessly tried to hype as controversial, SB 5 was supported by nearly two thirds of the State Senate. A similar bill was supported by 70 percent of the State House. A recent poll by National Journal finds that by a 48-44 margin, Americans favor banning abortion after 20 weeks of gestation. Furthermore, 50 percent of women surveyed support the ban.

Another important lesson is the great success that pro-lifers have had in the South. As recently as 1995, barely half of all southern states were enforcing parental involvement laws. Similarly, barely half of all southern states had some kind of informed-consent law. Since then, Republicans have won majority control of more legislative chambers in southern states. As such, the number of pro-life laws in the South has dramatically increased. Now all southern states have a parental-involvement law and all but one is enforcing an informed-consent law. Furthermore, as Texas is currently showing, southern states are frequently taking the lead in promoting laws that offer even greater protection to the unborn.

Michael J. New — Michael J. New is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan–Dearborn and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute in Washington, D.C. He received a ...

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