Texas State Representative Jodie Laubenberg (R) continues to press a radically anti-abortion bill that has been snaking its way through Texas Legislature this week. After hours of argumentation for the bill because of its strong protections for a person's "pre-born life," Laubenberg was outright criticized for her flip-flop politics that have taken a 180-degree spin since 2007.
Her current bill, HB 2, was meant to face the concerns of "the definite death to the 70,000-plus babies who have been aborted in this state … HB 2 focuses on both the child and the woman." This bill is still on the floor today. But back in 2007, she made the case against treating the unborn as people when it comes to qualifying for health care services.
6 years ago, she faced a political debacle that ended with a Terminator-esque quote: "I will be back." The conservative Laubenberg was shot down when she put forward an amendment during a House debate on an appropriations bill. She sought to require expectant mothers to wait three months before they could receive prenatal and perinatal care under the Children's Health Insurance Program, a.k.a. CHIP. CHIP's resources have been viewed as critical to covering the uninsured children in low-income families.
Democratic Representative Rafael Anchia criticized Laubenberg by arguing that the change would mean that more than 95,000 unborn children would be kicked out of the CHIP program. The ensuing battle was no more than a debate over basic evidence, as Anchia cited CHIP data from hospitals, and Laubenberg retorted that his statistics were "misinformation." After the downright-wrong comments Laubenberg made on the purpose of rape kits, many are hesitant to immediately trust her "fact-checking." However, Anchia shattered any credibility Laubenberg had when he asked if she recognized those in-utero babies as people.
The crucial conversation went something like this:
Anchia: "You do know, don't you, that these are U.S. citizens?"
Laubenberg: "But they're not born yet."
Ultimately, with shock and excitement like dogs coming in for a kill, the Democrats had cornered Laubenberg into arguing against treating a fetus as a person. Anchia's final blow was in saying, "You see? You have an anti-life amendment."
Laubenberg of course defended herself by announcing that there is "no one more pro-life" in the House than her, and tried to question the validity of Anchia's data. Nonetheless, a person who must announce their positions does tend to loose a sense of their credibility. Regardless of her point of view, she was struck enough that she pulled her amendment off the floor "out of consideration for the body."
With one final resounding, "I will be back," Laubenberg left the podium.
As expected and with the upcoming swell of conservative anti-abortion legislation, Laubenberg has indeed returned with a new extreme pro-life agenda to press.