Black Mothers in Texas Will Suffer Due to Republican Civil War

Style Magazine Newswire | 5/12/2017, 9:03 p.m.
Today, the singular bill in the Texas House addressing the alarming mortality rate of Black women giving birth was prevented ...
State Rep. Shawn Thierry

Austin, Texas: Today, the singular bill in the Texas House addressing the alarming mortality rate of Black women giving birth was prevented from being voted on due to a tactical maneuver used by a conservative wing of the Republican Party. HB 2403, authored by Representative Shawn Thierry (D-Houston) would have investigated the causes of why African American women in Texas are dying at three times the rate of other women during or shortly after childbirth.

"It's a sad day in Texas that while African American mothers are dying, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle continue to play politics. The infighting within the Republican Party has essentially made Black women a casualty of a political civil war. It is unfortunate that this bill was not allowed to be voted on and passed by conservatives, considering it was the only 'pro-life' bill on the calendar. These are women who chose to carry their babies to term. Yet, this legislation died on the eve of Mother's Day, when everyone, Republican and Democrat, should be thinking of protecting mothers," said Rep. Thierry.

Thierry's bill passed unanimously out of the Public Health Committee and was placed on the Local & Consent Calendar, designed specifically for noncontroversial bills. However, a bill can be removed from the calendar, or "killed," if a petition with five signatures from other Members is submitted to the Speaker of the House. Today, a group of far right Republicans used this strategy to kill over 100 bills on the Local & Consent Calendar, which included Rep. Thierry's HB 2403.

There are only 17 days remaining in the 85th Legislative Session. The deadline to consider House Bills expired today. Going forward, the House must approve legislation that has been approved and voted out of the Senate, before it is sent to the Governor's desk for a signature.

Representative Shawn Thierry is a Democrat from House District 146, which encompasses greater Southeast and Southwest Houston. She serves on the House Committees on County Affairs, and Juvenile Justice & Family Issues. She was born and raised in her district, and has been a practicing attorney for 20 years.