| Celts Support Pro-Life Bill in Austin |
Amidst the crowd of hundreds of pro-life Texans, the UST Celts for Life put on their pro-life gear in support of House Bill 2, otherwise known as the Texas Infant Pain Capable Act. The bill, which was signed by Gov. Rick Perry July 18, places higher restrictions on abortion clinics in Texas, bans abortions after 20 weeks and threatens to close 37 out of the 42 clinics in Texas that do not meet the new standards.
“We are all really passionate about pro-life issues and decided that we wanted to be a part of the pro-life presence in Austin,” Celts for Life President Samantha Garcia said. “We not only wanted to be there to be a part of the history happening but also wanted to provide an opportunity for other students to go and provide witness and prayer to the cause as well.”
Garcia, along with CFL members Austin Cruz, Jonathan Cruz, Carlie Bejarano and Diego Lagos, was present at the Capitol for the majority of the special legislation, praying and supporting Texas Right to Life by helping people submit their online testimonies to the senators.
“The pro-life movement is not limited to UST or Houston,” Garcia said. “This was an opportunity for the Celts for Life to experience being a part of the pro-life movement on a much larger scale, joining with pro-lifers from across Texas supporting a common belief. We were really able to get right in the action and actually do something that will make an impact on the future of our state.”
The Celts for Life was not the only St. Thomas presence during the legislation. Lee Vigil, director of student evangelization, also traveled to Austin with his family in tow and senior Kimberly Rodriguez.
“It is very important for the University of St. Thomas to make an appearance at the special session because of the Catholicity that it represents to not only the city of Houston, but the entire state of Texas,” Vigil said. “When so many Catholic universities’ faithfulness is questioned, UST leads by example, inspiring the other Catholic Universities in Texas to stand for life with us.”
Vigil also commented on the differences between the pro-life and pro-abortion supporters.
“The pro-abortion advocates displayed very graphic language in their signs and their behavior,” Vigil said. “There were many children in attendance who should not have been subjected to such graphic language.”
The bill passed the Texas House of Representatives on July 10 with a 96-49 vote, and passed the Texas Senate on July 13 with a 19-11 vote, paving the way for Texas to become the most pro-life state in the America. The bill goes into effect within a year.
“This legislation is yet another important building block for our State’s eventual elimination of abortion,” Vigil said.
The Celts for Life is a student-run pro-life club on campus, dedicated to spreading awareness of the sanctity and beauty of human life from conception until natural death. They have participated in many pro-life initiatives such as the Cemetery of the Innocents and the annual March for Life in Washington D.C. For more information, contact Samantha Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org