Charlie Geren has failed the Pro-Life movement, prioritizing power over principle

Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) is the last man standing of the liberal gang of eleven Republicans who partnered with Democrats to elect Joe Straus as Speaker of the Texas House in 2009.  Throughout his chairmanship of the Committee on House Administration, Geren has enjoyed an exaggerated sense of power as part of House leadership.  Rather than use his influence to advance the Pro-Life movement, Geren has achieved a questionable record at best on protecting Life during his 17 years in the Capitol.

In addition to chairing the Committee on House Administration, Geren serves on the House Committee on State Affairs, where Pro-Life bills are systematically sent, and Geren sits on the highly coveted and powerful House Committee on Calendars.  However, under the Straus regime, life-saving bills have died in both the Committee on State Affairs and in the Committee on Calendars, forcing both Governors Perry & Abbott to call special sessions of the Legislature to pass needed Pro-Life reforms.

Additionally, in 2015, Geren tried to use his position on the Committee on State Affairs to restrict free speech rights, which would have severely hampered Pro-Life efforts to advocate for preborn children, pregnant mothers, and vulnerable patients.  Again, both Governors Perry and Abbott opposed Geren’s attacks on our First Amendment rights, threatening to veto the bills and working behind the scenes to stop Geren’s liberal agenda.

In both 2015 and 2017, Geren has failed the Pro-Life Scorecard, earning demerits for anti-Life votes.  In the Regular Session of the 85th Legislature, Representative Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) offered an amendment to close an insidious loophole in current law that does not protect unborn children with disabilities from late abortions, past the point when these precious babies can feel the torturous pain of the procedure.  Geren joined the anti-Life Democrats and the rest of liberal House Leadership and voted against the Pro-Life Schaefer Amendment and kept this unconscionable loophole in place.

This vote, however, was not Geren’s first openly discriminatory act against vulnerable Texans.  In 2015, Geren was joint author to House Bill 2351, a bill that would have further empowered hospitals to blatantly discriminate against vulnerable patients with disabilities by withholding life-sustaining treatment.  Although this bill did not pass, Geren’s support of the measure signals that he believes human beings with disabilities are not worthy of equal legal protection, whether they be inside the womb or inside hospitals.

Geren could have also played a key role in prohibiting taxpayer funding of the abortion industry.  However, he squandered that opportunity also.  Even after Governor Abbott added the defunding legislation to the agenda for the Special Session of the 85th Legislature, and even after the Senate passed the defunding bill, and even after 83 members of the Texas House co-authored the defunding bill, the legislation died because of the inaction of two committees on which Geren serves.

If Geren had aligned with the Pro-Life movement, he could have leveraged his influence for Pro-Life progress, but rather he squandered his positions of leadership for power and politics.  Instead of being a much-needed champion for Pro-Life efforts, Geren misused his authority, thwarting life-saving measures while advancing anti-Life ones.  The voters of House District 99 deserve a representative who will wield his or her influence to advance the Pro-Life movement through shepherd life-saving legislation to passage.

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