“The Founder and Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life Dr. Joe Pojman provided the below organizational updates to the numerous attendees at the 2022 Annual Benefit Dinner in early October.”
On Friday, June 24, the United States Supreme Court handed down its much-anticipated opinion in the Dobbs case.
The opinion completely overturned the terrible Roe v. Wade precedent that prevented states from protecting unborn babies from abortion before viability.
Let me brag for a moment. We filed a brief with the Court to help undermine the “viability standard” — one of the pillars on which Roe v. Wade was built. Our brief was referenced by one of the Justices during oral argument, and many of its elements can be seen throughout the opinion.
After nearly half a century, states can finally protect mothers and unborn babies from the tragedy of abortion. An unmitigated victory.
Texas is well prepared for this historic moment.
First, the state’s pre-Roe laws protecting unborn babies from abortion, first passed in 1854, immediately went back into effect. Abortion providers were shocked.
Last year, the Texas Legislature passed, and Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law, several substantial measures to protect unborn babies from abortion and support women with unplanned pregnancies.
We have all heard of the Texas Heartbeat Act to protect babies whose heartbeats were detected. That went into effect a year ago and has led to a 40-45% drop in abortions.
The Legislature also passed HB 1280, the Human Life Protection Act, to completely protect unborn babies from abortion beginning at conception.
That bill was among our top priorities and of our principal partners: the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops and Texans for Life.
The law went into effect on August 25, 30 days after the Court issued its final judgment. You may have heard it called the “trigger law.”
Stopping Abortion Providers
The Human Life Protection Act is the last stake in the heart of the abortion industry in Texas, and that is what it is designed to do.
HB 1280 has three enforcement mechanisms, which we had a strong hand in writing:
- First, the law makes performing an abortion a first-degree felony offense, punishable by up to 99 years, equivalent to premeditated homicide.
- Second, the Texas attorney general can bring a fine of at least $100,000 for any violators.
Does anyone here doubt that pro-life Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton would hesitate to defend unborn babies?
- Third, the law requires the mandatory loss of the medical license of a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist who participates in an illegal abortion.
Even if a district attorney decides to categorically fail to prosecute violators, which we believe would be a dereliction of duty, the second and third penalties will still deter abortions, and they are.
Just since the Court’s ruling, our organization received more than 100 calls from news media — the New York Times, The New Yorker, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, and San Antonio Express-News. Interestingly we have numerous calls from overseas media — from Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Poland, Japan, France, Mexico, and elsewhere in Latin America.
They want to know what is going on in Texas. Our communications team calls this law by its actual name, the Human Life Protect Act. If called the Texas trigger law — Texas – trigger — well, some of them just wouldn’t understand.
Now, you will find this very interesting:
The New York-based abortion advocacy organization Guttmacher Institution issued a report two days ago admitting that all 23 licensed abortion facilities in Texas have stopped performing abortions
- including the three abortion facilities here in Austin,
- the three in San Antonio,
- three in Dallas,
- two in Fort Worth,
- eight in Houston,
- the facilities in McKinney, McAllen, El Paso, and Waco,
- all 23.
That agrees with our own independent intel.
After fifty years, legal abortions have ceased . . . indefinitely.
Like all abortion laws in Texas, women on whom abortions are performed have no liability and cannot be prosecuted or fined.
Also, our laws do not allow prosecution for the treatment of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy or other procedures to save the mother’s life.
Vast Support for Women and Their Babies
Also, in 2021, the Legislature appropriated vast funds to assist low-income women, especially women with unplanned pregnancies.
The Legislature appropriated $100 million for the current two-year budget toward the highly successful Alternatives to Abortion program, which we strongly supported. That program provides services for women facing unplanned pregnancies to assist them in carrying the baby to term, giving birth, and keeping or placing the baby for adoption.
Services continue for three years after the birth of the child.
Also, $1.2 billion per year for pregnant women with incomes up to twice the federal poverty level, the state’s Medicaid program pays prenatal, childbirth, and follow-up care for the mothers for six months and babies for 12 months.
You members of the Texas Legislature who supposedly don’t care about low-income women and babies after they are born, you actually don’t exist!
In addition, hundreds of privately supported non-profit and church organizations provide programs for pregnant women and their unborn babies before and long after birth.
You pro-lifers who only care about babies until birth, who are only pro-birth,— you don’t exist either!
Getting to this point has been quite a journey. I founded Texas Alliance for Life 34 years ago with a small band of rebels, in faith, that we would someday arrive at this moment in history. Here we are! And it’s time to celebrate.
But wait. How will we keep these gains? What if we lose them?
How could that be?
President Ronald Reagan famously said:
“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
This is even more true for our pro-life gains. What a tragedy to lose them in only a few years.
Are our kids and grandkids as pro-life as we are?
How about our neighbors? Our colleagues at work? Even our friends at church?
Let’s be honest. We have A LOT of work to do.
We must hold and even expand these incredible gains.
Here are our goals: The first is education.
We must educate our society with three main points:
- First, the unborn child is a baby deserving of protection. We know that the life of each of us came into being at conception. Science has told us that for more than 100 years. Each person who has seen an unborn child on an ultrasound machine knows that unborn babies quickly develop arms and legs, fingerprints, and a beating heart.
- Second, abortion hurts, not helps, women and families. The pro-life community has many women and men who have been involved in abortion. Why are we in the pro-life movement? Because we know firsthand how abortion has hurt women and how it has taken the lives of our children, and we do not want anyone else to go through that.
- Third, Texas provides vast resources for women with unplanned pregnancies. Abortion is completely unnecessary in Texas. When a woman faces an unplanned pregnancy, her first thought should be, “where is the nearest center to help my baby and me?”
The reality is that women with pregnancies can compete in society – academically, socially, vocationally, professionally, and athletically – without abortion.
Women can have their babies, planned or unplanned, and do great things.
We are launching a major educational campaign on social media, emails, websites, speaking engagements, and — funds permitting – broadcast — to educate Texas.
That campaign is designed to energize the pro-lifers but, just as importantly, to reach undecided citizens. Our goal? To build a Culture of Life – in people’s hearts and minds — in which abortion is not only considered unnecessary but truly unthinkable.
The Texas Legislature will begin meeting again next January. My lobby team and I will continue to advance the pro-life cause in Texas law. While we have accomplished so very much, we must hold these gains while addressing new challenges like these:
- Trafficking illegal, highly dangerous, abortion-inducing drugs into our state.
- Attacks on the Human Life Protection Act and the Alternatives to Abortion program to weaken or eliminate them.
- There are attacks from the Biden/Harris Administration – for example, to make every VA hospital in Texas an abortion facility.
The November 8 General Election is just 30 days away.
Are you committed to getting out and voting pro-life?
Think about this.
Beto O’Rourke and his allies support making abortion legal throughout pregnancy, abortions on healthy babies with healthy mothers up to birth.
Governor Greg Abbott supports completely protecting mothers and babies from abortion.
Friends, our choice is clear, and our responsibility is even more clear.
We have thousands of Pro-Life, Pro-Abbott signs going in yards across the state. This one is going in my yard.
We have signs for you as you leave this evening. Or order them from our website.
Our State PAC and Federal PACs have a goal to reach hundreds of thousands of voters with pro-life messages and through our online Pro-Life Voter Guide.
We cannot thank our Leadership Circle members enough because, without your financial support, we could do nothing.
I also thank our Sustaining Members who help us with our ongoing expenses and everyone who contributed time and money.
Let’s continue to make Texas a state in which abortion is entirely unthinkable and where everyone from conception to natural death is protected and thrives.
One Response to “Executive Director 2022 Benefit Dinner Message”
Friend of mine asked and I didn’t know and after reading the bills in place in Texas I cannot tell. I am for never aborting the baby and the mother is rarely in danger or if she is it is unknown. But I didn’t know if the pregnancy is a result of incest or rape. People get hung up on that, I do not but wanted to know what the law in Texas is.
Thank you so much in advance.