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Catholic Groups Blast Texas Right to Life's Scorecard

Texas pro-life groups are warring against each other in an ongoing political battle over end-of-life legislation.

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Texas pro-life groups are warring against each other. 

The Texas Catholic Conference and Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas have criticized Texas Right to Life’s political scorecard, arguing that it haphazardly penalizes lawmakers who have long been committed to pro-life issues, because they disagreed with the group’s opposition to SB 303 — legislation that many other pro-life groups supported in the 83rd session to reform Texas’ advanced directives law.

Jeffrey Patterson, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference, wrote in a letter to state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, that Texas Right to Life’s scorecard “appears to have taken to punishing those pro-life legislators who disagreed with them by inaccurately casting them as not being sufficiently pro-life. That is plainly inaccurate.”

As a political powerhouse, Texas Right to Life essentially pulled the plug on SB 303 and made good on its threat to castigate any lawmakers who supported the bill by heavily penalizing them in its 2013 legislative scorecard. For example, Huberty received a 59 percent rating on Texas Right to Life’s 2013 scorecard, because he lost 25 of 50 overall points for co-authoring the end-of-life legislation. In 2011, he received 119 percent score from Texas Right to Life.

As the Tribune reported in May, the fight over the legislation shifted from political to personal during the session, as lawmakers who have long supported anti-abortion legislation and the advance directives reform bill accused Elizabeth Graham, the executive director of Texas Right to Life, of "engaging in dirty politics to discredit the opposition."

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