By: Jackie Wang

AUSTIN — A federal judge on Monday blocked a controversial state law that requires miscarried or aborted fetuses to be cremated or buried.

U.S. District Court Judge David Ezra of San Antonio issued a preliminary injunction that bars Texas officials from carrying out the law, which would have taken effect Thursday.

The case grew out of an earlier lawsuit, brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Whole Woman’s Health and other abortion providers, to challenge a regulation from the Department of State Health Services that said fetal remains must be buried.

Proponents of the law say it allows the state to ensure fetuses are not treated like other medical waste. Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, said if the law goes into effect, it won’t change how many women have abortions. But plaintiffs argue the law would increase the cost of abortion, making it less accessible for women.

Pojman said he thinks the law has a good chance of being upheld, despite Monday’s preliminary injunction.

“The federal courts in Austin typically do not uphold the laws regarding abortion passed by the Legislature, but we do have very good track record of these laws being sustained by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals,” Pojman said.

By: Natalie Martinez

One week after the 45th anniversary of Roe versus Wade, thousands of pro-life marchers filled the capitol steps advocating for an end to abortion.

Knights of Columbus from across the city, student-led religious groups and legislators rallied in front of the south steps. d in front of the capitol were pro-choice protestors, including the Texas Handmaids who symbolize reproductive women’s rights.

“Years ago, I held a little baby in my arms and months before that her mother had a talk to staff at an emergency pregnancy crisis center and after having a conversation with that staff the mother decided against abortion and decided to give her baby a chance at life,” Abbott said.

Abbott spe of the pro-life legislative milestones. In 2017 two bills were signed into law.

Governor Greg Abbott also proclaimed January 22nd, the anniversary of Roe V. Wade, to be the “Sanctity of Life Day” in Texas.

By: Ariana Garcia and Taylor Goldenstein

Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered Saturday afternoon at the Capitol for the Texas Rally for Life, where Gov. Greg Abbott and other guests spe.
Event organizers estimated around 5,000 people attended the rally.

Melissa Duncan, speswoman for the Texas Alliance for Life, one of several organizations that came together for the event, said the gathering highlights the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Roe v. Wade case, which legalized abortion in 1973.

“From our leadership and the legislature to our religious leaders to our organizations across the state, we’re all trying to band together to remember that there are lives to defend and we’ll continue to do so and bring gatherings like this together, not only at this event but across the state to remember that Texas is pro-life,” she said.

By: Peggy Fikac

AUSTIN – Gov. Greg Abbott, speaking at the Texas Rally for Life on Saturday, cited the experience of adopting his daughter as the driving force behind his efforts to curtail abortion.

“Years ago, I held a little baby in my arms. Months before that, her mother talked to staff at a crisis pregnancy center. And after the conversation with that staff, the mother decided against abortion and decided to give her baby a chance at life,” Abbott said at the south side of the Texas Capitol, drawing whoops and applause from the crowd of thousands at the rally sponsored by the Texas Alliance for Life.

Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, adopted Audrey after 16 years of marriage.

“That little infant who might never have had a chance at life is now on the dean’s list at college. And I’m even prouder to tell you that that little infant girl is now my 21-year-old daughter that my wife and I had the opportunity to adopt in her infancy,” Abbott said. “We thank God every single day for the very precious gift of our daughter, Audrey, and for the woman who was strong enough to give Audrey a new life with our family.

“That is why I will always fight for life as your governor,” Abbott said, “and I will ensure that every child has a chance at life.”

Abbott has championed restrictions on abortion as governor, touting state measures to ban “partial-birth” abortion, to outlaw selling fetal parts for profit and to require burial or cremation of fetal remains. The first two also are addressed in federal law.

Some Texas laws have been challenged in court, sometimes successfully.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned abortion restrictions approved in 2013 that imposed new requirements on abortion facilities. And a federal judge last year said parts of a law limiting a second-trimester abortion procedure were unconstitutional. The state is appealing.

Some have criticized Abbott and other Republican leaders who oppose abortion for not providing enough support in areas such as health care for women and children

“I believe that women’s health care is life,” said Nichole Miller, 30, of Austin, who was among a small group of demonstrators at the Capitol on Saturday backing a woman’s right to choose abortion. “They are slowly taking away women’s health care and the right to know about our bodies and the right to choose. It’s not so much about having an abortion. It’s the right to choose whether or not family planning is right for you at that time in your life.”

Dr. Brian and Kathy Seastrunk with the San Antonio Coalition for Life, accompanied by their 3-and-a-half-year old son Isaac, spe in favor of pro-life advocates having a presence outside clinics that offer abortion.

The couplehave three biological children and adopted Isaac after his young mother opted against an abortion, Kathy Seastrunk said. After seeing people “praying peacefully” outside her original clinic destination, the pregnant girl followed signs to a facility that offered an alternative, Kathy Seastrunk said.

“Love saved a life that day,” she said.

Abbott urged those at the rally to make their voices heard at the ballot box, pointing to Texas Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Blacklock, who attended the rally along with other officials including Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, Land Commissioner George P. Bush and a number of lawmakers.

The governor appointed Blacklock to fill a court vacancy. Blacklock is running for the post and faces Democratic State District Judge Steven Kirkland of Harris County in November.

“I don’t have to guess or wonder how Justice Blacklock is going to decide cases because of his proven record of fighting for pro-life causes,” Abbott said. Blacklock was Abbott’s general counsel in the governor’s office and worked for him when Abbott was attorney general.

Texas Alliance for Life speswoman Melissa Duncan said it was estimated that at its largest point, there were 5,000 people at Saturday’s rally.

By: Peggy Fikac

Gov. Greg Abbott, speaking at the Texas Rally for Life on Saturday, cited the experience of adopting his daughter as the driving force behind his efforts to curtail abortion.

“Years ago, I held a little baby in my arms. Months before that, her mother talked to staff at a crisis pregnancy center. And after the conversation with that staff, the mother decided against abortion and decided to give her baby a chance at life,” Abbott said at the south side of the Texas Capitol, drawing whoops and applause from the crowd of thousands at the rally sponsored by the Texas Alliance for Life.

Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, adopted Audrey after 16 years of marriage.

“That little infant who might never have had a chance at life is now on the dean’s list at college. And I’m even prouder to tell you that that little infant girl is now my 21-year-old daughter that my wife and I had the opportunity to adopt in her infancy,” Abbott said. “We thank God every single day for the very precious gift of our daughter, Audrey, and for the woman who was strong enough to give Audrey a new life with our family.

“That is why I will always fight for life as your governor,” Abbott said, “and I will ensure that every child has a chance at life.”

By: Molly Oak

AUSTIN – Officials said thousands of people showed up to the 2018 Texas Rally for Life on Saturday.

The rally commemorated the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973, which legalized aborting throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

“It’s been 45 years since Roe v. Wade, and since then Texas has become the national leader in defending life,” said Governor Abbott. “As Governor, I will fight for every child to have a chance at life. I thank our legislative leaders who work to pass laws that protect life, and so many Texans who continue to give a voice to the voiceless and fortify the culture of life in this state.”

People came from all over Texas to show their commitment to protecting the rights of unborn children.

“I believe in justice for all people, and I think it’s a crime that innocent babies can be killed. We shouldn’t be killing people just because they’re smaller than us, just because they don’t have a voice,” said Brian McAeliffef.

Governor Abbott proclaimed Jan. 22 as Sanctity of Life Day in Texas.

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