Recap: Texas House Bill 2 – Laubenberg’s Folly

Underground extention of Texas Capitol

One would think that if a particular legislator wrote a bill, that he or she would be at least somewhat familiar with what it contained. That person should be fully prepared to answer questions about it. Instead, as we saw, Representative Jodie Laubenberg appeared to have very little idea about what was actually in her bill. She also refused to answer many of the questions that other legislators asked about it.

As I mentioned in the previous blog about the start of the HB 2 hearing by the Texas House State Affairs Committee it lacked a court reporter. This was intentional. Representative Byron Cook removed the court reporter before the hearing began.

This means that there is no official transcript of what was said. Thanks to social media, there is a “Twitter record” of it. Here are some of the key points about the part of the hearing where the legislators questioned Representative Jodie Laubenberg about her bill.





Meanwhile, outside of the committee room, a man regrets his abortion. (Click the instagram link to see).

That image was retweeted countless times. Several hours later, Twitter had christened him “The poster boy for anti-choice”. Back in the committee room, questioning and clarification about the bill began.


Representative Hilderbran immediately points out that the purpose of the bill is …

Previous to his statement, the purpose was “to protect women’s health”. His statement makes it clear the bill is to save the lives … of the unborn. It’s not about protecting women’s health. Around the same time debate was starting, the legislators prohibited the press and media from reporting about what was said. The only thing left was the live stream feed and Twitter.


Representative Laubenberg reviews the junk science in the bill that says that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation. This is simply not true, as the good people of Twitter point out.


They are referring to a study called Fetal Pain – A Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence that was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The next series of questions was in regards to the bill’s requirement that doctors who preform abortions must have hospital admitting privileges. It also goes into the bill’s requirements that clinics convert to ambulatory surgical centers (ASC). The questions come from Representative Sylvester Turner.
















Keep that one in mind! It is not her intent to close clinics, she says. That’s not what she says later on in the hearing!

Next, the debate focuses on the part of the bill that specifically requires doctors who preform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges.



This tweet says a lot. Basically, the bill requires a doctor who preforms abortions to have hospital admitting privileges in order to continue. It has been pointed out that there is nothing in the bill that requires the hospitals to grant those privileges. Representative Laubenberg won’t put that into the bill – and will still require the doctors to have hospital admitting privileges. If they can’t get them – clinics will close.

Moving on, the next point focuses on something important that is missing from the bill.




Clinics that cannot afford to make the changes necessary for them to be considered an ambulatory surgical clinic (ASC) will close. This will harm women who are from rural areas, and who would have to travel for hours in order to reach a clinic that is located in a larger city. Representative Turner tries to save those clinics.



Meanwhile, outside of the committee room, more people have signed up to give testimony.


Back inside the committee room, it certainly appears that some of the legislators were trying to silence Representative Turner. Somebody was pushing to move on from the debate portion of the hearing to the part where (some) people were able to present their testimony. One would think this was an effort to have the voice of the people heard. In reality, it wasn’t. This is evident by the declaration that testimony would end at midnight.










Next, Representative Jessica Farrar begins questioning. She focuses on trying to discover what research was done by Representative Jodie Laubenberg before she wrote the bill. As you will see, Representative Laubenberg refused to answer any questions about that.
















This tweet refers to something that happened during the filibuster in the Senate that was done by Senator Wendy Davis. One of the “strikes” that was given to Senator Davis was because she started talking about Roe v Wade. Other Senators felt that it was not germane to bring that up. Representative Farrar continues her questioning of Representative Laubenberg’s HB 2 bill.









Again, Representative Laubenberg is using “junk science” and keeping it in her bill.

The good people of Twitter call her out on that.










There we have it. Representative Laubenberg has declared that the purpose of her bill is not to protect women’s health. It also is not primarily about saving the lives of “the unborn” (although that may be an indirect result).

What she wants is for her bill to result in a lawsuit that will eventually bump all the way up to the Supreme Court. It is her hope that the bill will result in SCOTUS changing their decision regarding Roe v Wade. Specifically, she wants the decision to remove the word “viability” (which would be 24 weeks of gestation or more) from the “deadline” under which a woman can have a safe, legal, abortion. She wants that “deadline” moved back to when “junk science” says a fetus can feel pain (which would put it around 20 weeks – or could back it up to much less than that). That is the purpose of Representative Laubenberg’s bill!

Clearly, there isn’t much of a chance that things will go the way Representative Laubenberg wants them to.


Thus ends Representative Farrar’s questioning. Representative Cook is eager to skip the rest of the questioning/debate about HB 2 and move on to the testimony.


Next up, Representative Jose Menendez begins questioning. He focuses on ambulatory surgical centers, their current requirements, and how HB 2 would affect things.



















Meanwhile, outside of the committee room:


Representative Helen Giddings gets a turn to speak.



Meanwhile, outside of the committee room, Senator Leticia Van de Putte gets some love.

Back inside the committee room, Representative Dan Huberty enters the debate.


Representative Turner re-enters the debate.




Representative Farrar returns to the debate as well to question the cost of abortion.





It has been noted that Representative Laubenberg has a tendency to call Representative Farrar by her first name, Jessica. My opinion is that Representative Laubenberg is attempting to appear superior to Representative Farrar by removing her title and using her first name, only (as if Representative Farrar were a child).

Thus ends the question and answer session and debate about Representative Laubenberg’s bill, HB 2. Next, the Texas House State Affairs Committee began hearing (some but not all) testimony.

Image by Doug Waldron on Flickr.

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Posted by Jen (1365 Posts)

Jen is a cofounder of No Market. She is podcaster and a professional freelance writer living in San Luis Obispo, CA. She contributes to many of the channels here at No Market. She also co-hosts the Shattred Soulstone podcasts.

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3 comments to Recap: Texas House Bill 2 – Laubenberg’s Folly

  • Recap: Texas House Bill 2 – Testimony  says:

    […] the Texas House State Affairs Committee stopped the Q&A portion of the hearing about HB 2, they moved on to hear testimony about it. At that time, there […]

  • Best No Market Posts of 2013  says:

    […] Recap: Texas House Bill 2 – Testimony on Recap: Texas House Bill 2 – Laubenberg’s Folly […]

  • Second Challenge to HB2 – A Little Background  says:

    […] summer, the Texas legislature passed a bill called HB2 (or House Bill 2).  The purpose of the bill was to close all of the clinics that provide safe, […]

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