Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life responded to a request from The Texan to comment on Texas’ pro-life accomplishments in the 2019 legislature.

Pojman said, “We view this as a successful session highlighted by the passing of HB16, The Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, SB 22 to defund Planned Parenthood at the local level, and increased funding for compassionate alternatives to abortion.”

HB 16 would require a physician to preserve the life and health of a child born alive after an abortion, just as they would to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. The bill includes a requirement that the physician who performed or attempted the abortion immediately transfers the born alive child to a hospital.

A physician who fails to provide the appropriate medical treatment to a child born alive after an abortion would be liable to the state for a civil penalty of at least $100,000. The attorney general would also be authorized to bring a suit to collect the penalty as well.

But not all pro-life advocates see this as a major win.

Kimberlyn Schwartz, media director with Texas Right to Life, was tempered in her characterization of HB 16.

She said, “Although symbolizing pro-life values, HB 16 does not stop abortion.”

SB 22 was enacted to prohibit taxpayer dollars at both the state and local level from being used to fund abortion facilities and affiliates. Exemptions are made for licensed hospitals, licensed physician offices that perform fewer than 50 abortions per year, state hospitals, teaching hospitals, and accredited residency programs.

Both Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life view SB 22 as a noteworthy pro-life victory.

Pojman also mentioned SB 24, which ensures women receive information on alternatives to abortion, and HB 902 which increase penalties for assaulting pregnant women, as significant wins.

By: Charlie Butts

Joe Pojman of Texas Alliance for Life says a major provision in the bill bans public bodies such as city governments and school districts from contracting with abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood.

“It’s a very significant step forward in Texas,” he tells OneNewsNow, “and it’s no surprise that the abortion industry is decrying it.”

As an example, the City of Austin allows Planned Parenthood to use a city-owned building without paying rent, which means the liberal city government is losing $100,000 annually to benefit the wealthy abortion giant.

Pojman says a second part of the bill bans tax dollars from going to an abortion provider or an affiliate.

“Planned Parenthood frequently does that,” he says. “So this is really a taxpayer protection bill.”

Planned Parenthood has not announced whether it will sue over the law but Pojman insists the abortion giant has a weak case if a lawsuit is filed.

By: Stephen Young

Texas Alliance for Life, one of the state’s biggest anti-abortion advocacy groups, came out against the bill. The measure “bans abortions on non-viable (fetuses) when the heartbeat is detected, which the Supreme Court does not permit,” the group said in explaining its decision. “This law has been passed in three states and struck down in all three, Arkansas, North Dakota and Iowa. Requests by Arkansas and North Dakota to review the cases have been denied by the Supreme Court.”

Passing the law, according to the group, could actually strengthen abortion providers in Texas because of the attorneys’ fees Texas could be forced to shell out to its opponents if the state is sued over the law and loses.

Texas Wins Some, Loses Some
In their rulings, the judges who have struck down previous “heartbeat bills” have cited the standard created by the Supreme Court in its decision in Casey. Casey holds that states have an interest in regulating abortion, but they cannot create an “undue burden” on women seeking the procedure. The “undue burden” standard guided the Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the 2016 case that saw the high court overturn a Texas law that required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they were performing the procedure. The law also would have required abortion clinics to be outfitted to the same standards as hospital surgical suites.

Although Texas’ law was struck down, it still forced dozens of clinics in the state to close during the time it was enforced as the suit against it wound its way through the courts. Fewer clinics means longer waits for appointments. Combine longer wait times with basic human anatomy, and Texas’ heartbeat bill, while not imposing criminal penalties on women seeking abortions, would have made getting an abortion in Texas essentially impossible.

“A six-week ban is an abortion ban, because most women don’t know they’re pregnant at six weeks,” says Kelly Hart, the senior director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. “You miss your period, that’s usually your first sign. Then how long do you wait before you get a test, because maybe you hope you’re late for some reason? Maybe you give it a few days or whatever. You take the test, it comes back positive. You go to your doctor, maybe, to have it confirmed. There’s a process.”

Even if a woman makes an appointment the day she realizes she might be pregnant and sees a doctor as soon as possible, she might not meet the law’s requirements.

“If this law was in place and you immediately pick up the phone to call one of us, it’s a matter of when we can fit you in. Then you have to come in for your (state-mandated) sonogram. It’s rarely a two-day wait. It’s usually more because of scheduling and all that. This is just another way to do an abortion ban,” Hart says.

In addition to not wanting to pay for pro-abortion rights supporters’ next lawsuit with their attorney’s fees, Texas Alliance for Life fears the effect of negative precedent on future abortion laws in Texas and around the United States. In the eyes of the group’s special counsel Paul Benjamin Linton, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts isn’t a sure vote to overturn Roe, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

“The chief justice’s opinion upholding the Affordable Care Act gives one pause, as does his (in my view) exaggerated respect for precedent (which, to some extent, may be shared by Justice Brett Kavanaugh),” Linton wrote last year. “Although the chief justice might be willing to join an opinion overruling Roe at some point, it is doubtful he would cast the decisive (fifth) vote, particularly in the absence of further erosion of Roe. In other words, if his vote were needed, it is unlikely that it would be obtained.”

Until Roe v. Wade is overturned, the group would rather ask the Supreme Court questions it hasn’t already answered in an effort to chip away at the foundations of the law.

“Ignoring the Supreme Court is not a realistic possibility and would have no benefit. Regardless of whether the Legislature or the attorney general ignores the Supreme Court (which they will not do), all abortion laws must be enforced and prosecuted by local district attorneys and county prosecutors,” Texas Alliance for Life says in its 2019 legislative guide. “All DAs and prosecutors have taken an oath of office to uphold the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court. They will not enforce any law when prohibited by the Supreme Court.”

By: Cliff Saunders

Well, the legislature is close to sending the “born alive” bill to Governor Abbott’s Desk. Joe Pojman with Texas Alliance for Life says it’s a necessary step.

“It’s an excellent bill. It protects a child that was born alive after an abortion, something Texas should have done a long time ago,” Pojman stated.

That is the only pro-life bill that will likely be passed this session. We asked Pojman why lawmakers would not bring up a more restrictive bill like what was passed in Alabama.

“We admire their intent. Strategically it’s not wise. Texas has taken the better route. We are doing what is possible,” Pojman explained, adding that right now the votes aren’t on the Supreme Court to ban abortion; an issue that is now going to take center stage in the 2020 campaign.

By: Charlie Butts

Dr. Joe Pojman of the Texas Alliance for Life explains: “The argument is that Planned Parenthood violated state and federal law and ethical norms by trafficking in baby body parts that were deliberately harvested from abortions in Houston, Texas.”

That was only one facility among many nationwide caught in an undercover video sting by the Center for Medical Progress in which abortion-providers haggled over pricing for aborted babies’ body parts. All parties involved are watching the Texas case.

“The Fifth Circuit is hearing this with all the judges sitting together, what they call ‘en banc,’ and we believe that these judges are interpreting the law as it was written by Congress,” says the pro-life spokesman. “That means we will have a fair and level playing field – and that can only result, in our view, of Planned Parenthood being removed from the state’s Medicaid program.”

By: Gardner Selby

Senate Bill 1033 would repeal language allowing a third-trimester abortion in cases of a severe fetal abnormality, meaning a life-threatening condition “incompatible with life outside the womb.” Further, the bill would bar an abortion at any time that’s requested due to the race, ethnicity or sex of a fetus, or due to the probability of having, or a diagnosis of, Down syndrome or a severe disability.

Both NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, which lobbies for abortion rights, and the Texas Alliance for Life, among anti-abortion groups, see legal weakness in the bill. Each group says restrictions on abortion before 20 weeks post-fertilization likely won’t survive court review.

“It will not survive a federal court challenge and will save no lives,” Pojman told alliance members in an online post. “The result will be more bad precedent and huge attorneys’ fees for the plaintiffs.” He added, though: “We hope that in coming years there will be enough votes on the Supreme Court to uphold a bill like this.”