Today, Texas Senator Glenn Hegar filed the state legislature’s companion senate bill, SB 25, to House Bill 2364, the ‘Preborn Pain Act’ that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. Like Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, who filed HB 2364, Hegar also has ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a hyper-conservative lobby group that joins with corporate interests to draft model legislation for state lawmakers. Laubenberg is Texas’ state chair for ALEC.
Until last year, Hegar was a member of ALEC’s now-defunct Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which helped draft some of ALEC’s most highly criticized model legislation, including “Stand Your Ground” gun bills and voter ID laws. According to The Nation, the disbanding of the task force—in April 2012, months before Hegar ostensibly “left” ALEC—appears to have largely been a publicity move, an effort by ALEC to retain the membership of high-profile corporations in the wake of controversy on “Stand Your Ground” laws following the killing of Trayvon Martin:
Indeed, the disbanding of the “Public Safety and Elections” task force looks in every sense to be a desperate attempt to slow an exodus of high-profile corporations from the group’s membership roll.
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Anger over initial failure of Florida police and prosecutors to address Martin’s shooting led to an intense focus on the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, and on the role of ALEC and the National Rifle Association in passing similar laws in states across the country.
While Progress Texas has reported that Hegar “left” ALEC after his task force was dismantled, it’s clear that, in filing his 20-week abortion ban in conjunction with ALEC’s Texas state chair, he still has close ties to the organization.