The Texas Senate passed a pro-life bill Tuesday to create a memorial celebrating the value of unborn babies on the state Capitol grounds.

Sponsored by state Sen. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, Senate Continuing Resolution 24 passed in a 20-10 vote and now moves to the state House for consideration.

The bill authorizes the state Preservation Board to approve the construction of a replica of the National Life Monument, a statue of a mother and her unborn baby, to be placed on the state Capitol grounds in Austin.

According to The Texas Tribune, the monument would be funded by private donations and would be a replica of the “Life Monument,” an 8-foot bronze statue of a pregnant woman lovingly cradling the unborn baby in her womb, created by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz.

Schmalz’s original piece depicts the Virgin Mary and unborn baby Jesus and is located in the Church of San Marcello al Corso in Rome, Italy. “Artwork has the power to persuade and convince and move people,” the world-renowned sculptor told the Catholic News Agency in 2022. “The more representations we have of a mother and child … in our visual landscape, [the better].”

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In Texas, Parker said he hopes the memorial will serve as a reminder “to celebrate life, to never forget the miracle of life that we’ll always remember and protect here in Texas.”

The Arkansas Legislature approved a similar memorial in March to remember the 64 million unborn babies who were killed in abortions during Roe v. Wade.

Texas protects unborn babies by banning elective abortions. Researchers estimate tens of thousands of unborn babies are being saved from abortion every year as a result. Before the pro-life law went into effect last summer, approximately 50,000 unborn babies were aborted every year in Texas.

State pro-life advocates and lawmakers also have been working to expand support services for pregnant and parenting families across Texas, including through pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes that provide free pregnancy and parenting resources, including diapers, pregnancy tests, cribs, counseling and more.

Last year, Texas lawmakers also voted to expand Medicaid for new mothers to help improve maternal health care, but the Biden administration rejected its request.

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