A state House committee hearing on House Bill 35, a bill designed to ensure aborted children receive proper burial after they are killed, another topic took center stage—the abolition of abortion in the state of Texas.
The bill, authored by Republican state representative Byron Cook, was ground zero for a lively debate over abortion.
Abolitionists maintained that a bill of abolition ought to be brought forward instead, insisting that it is inherently wrong to allow the murder of unborn human beings, and that to regulate the disposal of victim remains is to give tacit approval to their murder. They argued that the state has a responsibility to provide the equal protection of the laws to all human beings, not simply to dispose of their remains with dignity after they are murdered.
Molly Goodson, a Texan opposed to HB 35, said in her testimony: “If our victims could speak today, they would scream to us to save them, rather than bury them. I protest this bill, in favor of the one that actually ends the murder and saves the babies.”
During the hearing, as multiple abolitionists testified and called for the abolition of abortion, Cook urged them to stop.
“Truly, we’ve got to stick to this bill. If you can’t, we’re going to have to ask you not to come up and testify,” he said.
However, abolitionists would not be kept from calling for the abolition of abortion, and every abolitionist in attendance was able to testify and call legislators to bring forward a bill of abolition.
Cook told Abolitionists: “You’re hurting your cause by not speaking on this bill. You will have plenty of time to speak on other bills, but this is not the time to get off message. This bill is good, If it’s not good, then tell us what’s wrong with this bill.” Abolitionists responded that by asking the legislature to focus on abolition rather than regulation, they were telling the legislature what was wrong with the bill.
Caleb Head, a Texas abolitionist who testified at the hearing later commented on Cooks statements, saying, “We would LOVE to speak on other bills, Mr. Chairman, but you are wrong. We will NOT have plenty of time to speak on ‘other bills’ because you won’t give said bills a hearing. The Republican Party is watching. The grassroots are watching. Your constituents are watching. And most importantly, God is watching. And you refuse to send the one bill we all are demanding to a hearing. We have a message for you, Mr. Chairman. We the people DEMAND abolition, and we DEMAND a hearing for HB 948!”
View the archived video here. Abolitionist testimony begins at 1 hour and 43 minutes.