By: Alejandra Guzman-Tracy

While pro-choice groups say this is a game-changer, pro-life organizations say this is a step in the wrong direction.

“We’re disappointed that the Biden Harris administration we would go to these lengths,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.

Lengths Attorney General Merrick Garland says are necessary.

“Eighty-five to 90 percent of abortions performed in Texas before this law was in effect, we’re on patients who are past the six-week mark,” Duble claimed.

The law also doesn’t make exceptions for victims of rape or incest

“The act is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme court precedent,” Garland said.

“We have to remember that if a woman is impregnated after a rape, that there are two parties involved to victims,” Pojman said. “The mother, who is the victim of rape, but also the innocent unborn child. And we should not advocate for taking the life of the unborn child.”

By: Grace Reader

But it’s not just anger that’s fueling political engagement. The Texas Alliance for Life says they’re also seeing increased interest in their organization, especially on social media.

“Our numbers on our and engagements have gone through the roof. We’re astounded,” Joe Pojman, executive director Texas Alliance for Life, said.

The Texas Alliance for Life focuses on education, pro-life policy creation and promoting alternatives to abortion.

“As that message gets shared within Texas and beyond Texas, we’re ighted, that’s accomplishing our goal,” he said.

By: Nicole Russell

Joe Pojman, the executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, explained the portion of the law that describes potential civil liabilities for violating, aiding, or abetting it. While Texas Alliance for Life did not draft the legislation, the organization supports it and believes it is well-written.

“Any individual can sue an abortion provider, the physician, nurses, other staff, or other individuals or organizations in assisting women in getting an abortion,” Pojman said. “The enforcement is all private. It comes from individuals suing someone who performs an abortion or assists someone in getting an abortion.”

What about the Uber driver who drives a woman to an abortion clinic or the therapist who discovers her client wants an abortion, has planned an abortion, or has even had one?

Pojman said a person would have to “knowingly violate the law.” The Uber driver, unless he or she is very familiar, would not knowingly be violating the law, Pojman clarified.

By: By BeLynn Hollers

Texas Alliance for Life said it will not be participating in lawsuits against those who seek abortions in violation of SB 8.

Dr. Joe Pojman, founder and executive director, said that his organization has “not been involved in that and we have no plans to do that,” but will instead focus on helping women.

Pojman said that the Texas Legislature and the governor have also taken steps to help pregnant women and their children, noting that the state budget includes $100 million for the next two years for alternative pregnancy programs.

“We have vast resources in Texas to help women who have unplanned pregnancies,” he said.

By: Candace Sweat

Joe Pojman is executive director for Texas Alliance for Life. While his group works to prevent abortions and supports the Texas legislation, he said acts of violence at abortion centers are not tolerated.

“We absolutely despise anyone who engages in violence against abortion facilities or someone seeking abortion. It’s just plain wrong,” Pojman said.

He said he sees nothing wrong with the FACE Act itself but believed the announcement by the Justice Department was a political tactic.

“This is in federal court but it’s between abortion providers and that state of Texas. The Biden-Harris administration doesn’t have any part to play in this so far,” Pojman said.https://www.texasallianceforlife.org/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=brand-article#media_outlet-add

By: Madlin Mekelburg

“Things accelerated with the sonogram bill,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life, an anti-abortion group that lobbies at the Capitol. “I think members got confidence that these measures could pass and that they would be rewarded and not punished in general elections — and they have certainly been rewarded.”

Before SB 8 went into effect, a woman could have an abortion in Texas up to 22 weeks from her last menstrual period, a limit put in place during the 2013 legislative session.

Prior to that point, White said the focus of anti-abortion legislation was making it difficult for women to obtain an abortion by enacting new requirements before the procedure could happen.

House Bill 2 in 2013 created the 22-week ban and imposed restrictions on abortion-inducing medication, but it focused primarily on “targeted regulation of abortion providers” as a means of reducing access.

The bill required abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility, and it said all facilities that offer the procedure must adhere to the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.

“This was all framed as language that would make abortion safer, playing on this myth that abortion is not safe,” White said.

The law was a flashpoint in the abortion debate in Texas. Providers said it would upend the abortion landscape in the state and lead to the closure of than half of the abortion clinics in the state. Abortion rights advocates said it would create barriers to access the procedure.

It drew national attention when then-Sen. Wendy Davis staged a marathon filibuster to kill the bill during a special legislative session. The event drew hundreds of protesters to the statehouse. But the Legislature later passed the measure in a new special session.

“House Bill 2 in 2013 was very substantial,” Pojman said. “Texas, I don’t think, had ever seen a grassroots response — on both sides — to any bill in its history that I’ve ever read about of that magnitude. There were literally thousands of people who signed up in favor or against that bill in the (House and Senate) committees. It was just incredible.”

The bill was ultimately signed into law, but it was immediately challenged in the courts. In 2016, a divided U.S. Supreme Court struck down the central provisions of the law requiring admitting privileges and heightened safety requirements at clinics, stating that their effect would be to create an improper barrier for women seeking an abortion.

But, in some ways the law was successful. More than half the state’s abortion providers shut down and never reopened.

Since then, the push to restrict access to abortion has only intensified.

“It has really been since 2016 that there were a lot concerted efforts,” White said. “We saw some of this percolating before, with these earlier gestational bans, but we’re seeing them come up a lot often in recent years across the country.”

n Texas, additional restrictions have been adopted to make it harder for minors to obtain abortions and to require the burial or cremation of fetal remains after an abortion. Certain types of abortion procedures also have been banned.

Some laws remain tied up in court battles, but others are in effect. White said the result has been numerous abortion providers closing clinics, leaving low-income women in certain areas without access to local and affordable health care options.

Lawmakers this summer also approved legislation to prohibit physicians from prescribing abortion-inducing medication to women who are than seven weeks pregnant, down from 10 weeks allowed under current law. The proposal is awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature.

“I’m really tired of every single session having to come here and debate one obstacle to a woman having the right to choose what happens to her own body and her own destiny,” said Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, during debate in the House over the bill.

Pojman said the goal of abortion opponents has always been clear: “to protect unborn babies completely, throughout pregnancy from abortion, while providing ample, compassionate alternatives to abortion.”

For Texas Alliance for Life, SB 8 is a step in the right direction, and Pojman said he is “ighted” it has been allowed to go into effect. But the bigger priority is overturning Roe v. Wade.

Lawmakers this year approved a “trigger bill” that would allow Texas to ban or limit abortion to the extent allowed by a future ruling by the Supreme Court.

“If (Roe v. Wade) is overturned, there will be a law that completely protects unborn babies beginning at conception in Texas,” Pojman said.

Until the legal battle over SB 8 plays out — a sharply divided Supreme Court let the law stand for now — White said it is hard to know exactly how it will affect future abortion regulations in Texas and across the country.

“Will it be possible for states like Texas to continue to do things like this?” she said. “Will this just be the new normal, where you can only get an abortion essentially before six weeks of pregnancy? Will there be stronger protections in place to ensure that people have access to care without unnecessary barriers? We don’t know.”