FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/07/2019
State Representative Jeff Leach Files the "Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act;"
State Representative Jeff Leach Files the "Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act;" Leads Broad Coalition of Legislators in the House & Senate to add Further Protections for Survivors of Abortion
AUSTIN - Today, State Representative Jeff Leach joined Senator Lois Kolkhorst at the Texas Capitol to announce the filing of the “Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act.” Representative Leach and Senator Kolkhorst, the lead authors of the legislation, are joined by a strong coalition of lawmakers from both the Texas House and Senate who have expressed their strong commitment to this legislation. Representative Leach is supported on House Bill 16 by Joint Authors Representative Geanie Morrison, Representative Stephanie Klick, Representative Greg Bonnen, M.D., and Representative Tom Oliverson, M.D.
From the Capitol, Representative Leach stated the following: "The collective conscience of our Nation has been shocked in recent weeks as we have witnessed elected policymakers advocate for and support measures that equate to legalized infanticide. Texans, however, reject this callous disregard for human life and we cannot and will not remain silent. With the filing of the Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, the Texas Legislature will draw a line in the sand, proclaiming clearly and loudly, on behalf of the Texans we represent, that a baby who survives an abortion deserves the full protection of the law and the highest standards of medical care. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Texas Legislature this session to ensure that Texas remains on the front lines in the fight for life.”
Governor Greg Abbott issued the following statement in response: "Representative Leach and Senator Kolkhorst are proven pro-life champions and I thank them for their commitment to fighting to ensure the most vulnerable among us are protected. The growing support for infanticide demonstrates a monstrous disregard for basic human dignity, and it is vital that we take a stand on behalf of unborn children and abortion survivors in the State of Texas. I look forward to working with Representative Leach and Senator Kolkhorst, as well as all the members of the legislature, to foster a culture of life and build upon our proud record of defending human life.”
In addition to support from Governor Abbott, the Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act has strong support from various statewide elected officials, including Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, U.S. Senator John Cornyn, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Comptroller Glenn Hegar.
The Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act is designed to strengthen the protections afforded to infants who survive abortion procedures by creating a physician-patient relationship between the physician and the surviving infant at the time of birth, thus requiring the highest standards of medical care to be afforded to the baby. The legislation creates statutory civil causes of action for the surviving child, or her parent or legal guardian, to pursue against the physician, should the physician fail to provide the appropriate medical treatment to the child. Further, the bill creates a similar cause of action for the Texas Attorney General to pursue against the physician on behalf of the state. Importantly, the legislation outlines strong protections to ensure that the woman who seeks the abortion is shielded from liability, in accordance with existing state law. The legislation also creates a reporting mechanism by which a person who has knowledge of a physician’s failure to provide the appropriate standard of medical care can report any incident to the Office of the Attorney General.
Born and raised in Plano, Representative Leach graduated from Plano Senior High School before attending Baylor University. He earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law and currently practices at the Texas law firm of Gray, Reed & McGraw LLP. Most recently, Leach was selected by Speaker Dennis Bonnen to serve as Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence, and was named to serve on the House Committee on Pensions, Investments & Financial Services and the House Committee on Redistricting. In addition, Representative Leach was appointed to the State Preservation Board and serves on the Texas Judicial Council. Jeff and his wife Becky, an author, speaker and artist, are the proud parents of Brady (age 10), Charlotte (age 8) and Landry (age 4). They are active members of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, where they have served for several years in the Young Families Ministry.
CONTACT: Mary McClure