The Texas Baby Purchasing Act of 2007
moiv printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 02:14:37 AM EST

Texas State Sen. Dan Patrick, author of a current proposal to criminalize safe abortion care, has figured out that adoption tax credits have a serious limitation: they don't do anything at all to increase the number of newborn babies available for adoption in the first place. But Senator Dan's the man with a plan to even out the shortfall.

Under Patrick's SB 1567, AKA the Texas Baby Purchasing Act of 2007, women would qualify for a $500 payment from the state within 60 days of signing away all parental rights to their newborn children.

If Patrick gets his way, childbearing in the service of the state won't be just creepy Handmaid's Tale fiction anymore. How's that for some moral family values?

A Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial asks, "When it comes to eroding women's rights, why is it that the more backward a bill is, the further it seems to get?" Maybe it's because the politicians of the religious right sometimes seem to operate from deep within their own version of Bizarro World.

Like Rep. Ken "Rumpelstiltskin" Paxton's HB 224 creating "Choose Life" plates, Patrick's bill benefits only women who give up children for adoption. A woman who might wish to continue her pregnancy and mother her own child, a woman who has an abortion only because of economic hardship, is left out in the cold. Maybe Patrick figures that "the kind of woman who has an abortion" will do anything for $500 -- because no other pregnant women in the state would be subjected to the indignity of being forced by law to listen to his sales pitch.

CHAPTER 50. ADOPTION INCENTIVE PROGRAM  

(a) The department shall develop a program to encourage pregnant women to place their children for adoption rather than have an abortion.

(b) The program must include a $500 payment to each woman who is a resident of this state and a citizen of the United States who places a child for adoption rather than have an abortion.

Sec. 50.002. APPLICATION FORM.

(a) The department shall develop an application form to be used by a woman who applies for funds under this chapter.

(b) The department may only distribute the application forms to abortion providers.

At least Patrick is doing his best to make sure that the state doesn't get snookered into buying any "illegal" babies.

In order to ensure that no low-income "legal" woman misses out on this chance of a lifetime, Patrick's bill forces doctors who provide abortion care, under penalty of law, to make the state's pitch in person to every potential producer of an adoptable baby.

Sec. 50.005. NOTIFICATION REQUIRED; APPLICATION FORM.

(a) Notification of the program under this chapter is required as part of the informed consent requirements under Chapter 171.

(b) An abortion provider shall distribute a copy of the funds application form to each woman who comes to the provider seeking an abortion.

All potential baby suppliers should be advised that Sen. Patrick's offer is good for a limited time only. In order to qualify for payment, a woman would have to sign over her newborn within 30 days after giving birth, because there's just not much demand for older children. Heck, the orphanages are full of them already.

Sec. 50.003  APPLICATION. A woman requesting funds under this chapter must apply for the funds on the form developed by the department not later than the 30th day after the date the child is born.

Sec. 50.004  PAYMENT OF FUNDS.

(a) The department shall process each application for funds under this chapter to determine whether the woman is eligible. If the woman is eligible for funds, the department shall make the payment to the woman not later than the 60th day after the date the woman's parental rights are terminated.

What's that you say? Selling and buying babies is against the law? Why yes, according to the Texas Penal Code, I believe it is.

Sec. 25.08. Sale or Purchase of Child.

(a) A person commits an offense if he:

(1) possesses a child younger than 18 years of age or has the custody, conservatorship, or guardianship of a child younger than 18 years of age, whether or not he has actual possession of the child, and he offers to accept, agrees to accept, or accepts a thing of value for the delivery of the child to another or for the possession of the child by another for purposes of adoption; or

(2) offers to give, agrees to give, or gives a thing of value to another for acquiring or maintaining the possession of a child for the purpose of adoption.

But not to worry, because Dan the Man's got that one covered.

Section 25.08, Penal Code, does not apply to the grant or acceptance of money under this section.

When is selling and buying babies not selling and buying babies?

All together now: "It's OK if you're a Republican!" And it's even more than OK when you're also a water boy for the religious right.

[An earlier version of this post appeared at Texas Kaos]




Display:

Thanks for continuing to drive this important discussion, moiv.  I hope the evolving frame attracts some links from outside the blog.

I am amazed at the $500 offer - for one, what makes anyone believe that a woman would carry to term and endure labor, etc., for so puny a sum?  Mrs. A. tells me that the effort cannot be quantified, that a baby-in-the-arms is the only thing that makes the trial worthwhile.  And yet this is just the thing these so-called lawmakers are intent upon swapping out for the money.

A law which virtually teaches "if I get pregnant, I can give the baby away - and pay a semester's tuition" certainly fails miserably as an adjunct of moral responsibility.  Not too godly, I'm afraid.

Texas politics is such a mess!  If anyone wonders - where are all these W-T-F lawmakers coming from - and not just in Texas but Ohio, Virginia, the Carolinas, etc., etc. - part of the answer lies clearly  in all the reports by Fred and others (TheocracyWatch, etc.) about concerted efforts by one-eyed fundamentalists to simply show up at local GOP precinct meetings and just keep shouting until they are the only ones in the chairs.

Their flawed social planning is clearly rising on the edge of a dangerously resilient "bubble" in the system, which leaves all of us open to their  blind zeal and conscious (or unconscious) distortion.

Thanks again for a window to the Texas Freedom webpage.  I read with interest and saved to disk their report on the half-dozen or so worst offenders.  Amateurs.  None of them have cut any kind of figure of service on behalf of "the whole."  Wondering though - why do you think Paxton is not among them?


God bless the whole world - - No Exceptions
by John Anngeister on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 01:12:24 PM EST

My best guess is that, up until now, he simply has flown beneath the radar due to his suburban straight-arrow image and general lack of flamboyance.

But if the clear conflict of interest inherent in Rep. Rumpelstiltskin's current bill to supply product to the adoption industry and assist CPCs -- when his own wife sits on the board of one of the biggest in the state -- doesn't get him a ranking, I'll have to start wondering.

by moiv on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 08:07:00 PM EST
Parent



in reproductive freedom for men, though. We know this because he had his own vasectomy performed during a live broadcast of his radio show.

When it comes to "colorful" legislators, Texas takes a back seat to nobody. But coral snakes are colorful, too.

by moiv on Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 02:28:01 AM EST


sounds like the payment may not be automatic, and that said legal resident of USA giving up infant for adoption may have payment administratively rejected.

Intentionally poorly written bill? With a bailout to avoid state payment to woman for producing a less-adoptable infant (handicapped, black, etc).

by NancyP on Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 02:58:13 PM EST



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