By: Charlie Butts

“Even the very liberal Supreme Court decades ago said that people do not have a religious right to abortion,” responds Joe Pojman of Texas Alliance for Life. “And their facts are entirely wrong; every pregnancy-related death is a terrible tragedy, but the reality is those are very rare. And unlike the claims of these Satanists, it is not a leading cause of death for women of any age.”

As for the claim that abortion saves lives, the pro-lifer points out that every successful abortion ends the life of a child in the womb, and he submits that killing preborn children is the Satanists’ modern-day form of child sacrifice.

“It’s very frightening that these people think that taking the life of an unborn child is somehow a religious right or it should be part of some kind of weird and terrible religious service,” Pojman submits. “It goes against everything we hold dear in our country. Unborn children should be protected by law; their deaths should not be sanctioned by law.”

By: Brandon Mulder

Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for life — which is backing a proposal to ban abortion beginning at fertilization (Texas law bans abortions after 20 weeks) — argues that Planned Parenthood places women on a pathway that, for many, ultimately leads to abortion.

Although “it’s difficult to make a causal relationship,” Pojman argues that many women seeking pregnancy-related services at Planned Parenthood are ultimately getting referred to Planned Parenthood abortion facilities.

“There’s definitely referrals going on,” he said. “That’s certainly part of Planned Parenthood’s practices — is to refer women for abortions.”

And women who are seeking non-pregnancy related health services build a “client relationship” with Planned Parenthood. Then, if those women later become pregnant, Pojman said, “they know who to call.”

“A woman searching for breast or cervical cancer screening or high blood pressure screening, if they do a pregnancy test on her and she’s positive, then they’d do a referral to their abortion facility,” he said.

However, because medical referral information is protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Pojman said he hasn’t seen any records showing this connection.

“It’s reasonable to believe that fewer women going to Planned Parenthood facilities for any reason will likely result in fewer abortions,” he said.

Planned Parenthood spesperson Sarah Wheat says that none of these claims have factual basis. A standard component of family planning services is providing nondirective pregnancy counseling, Wheat said. All patients are informed of all of their legal and medical options.

“Providing patients with referrals for all of their medical options is not unique to Planned Parenthood,” Wheat said.

Further, Pojman’s argument ignores the fact that many women rely on Planned Parenthood to obtain contraception and avoid unwanted pregnancies, said Aiken. According to Planned Parenthood’s own data, 82,400 Texas women received birth control through Planned Parenthood last year.

Abortion referrals “seems to be exactly what would be precipitated by kicking Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid,” Aiken said. “If there are no Medicaid funds to help low-income patients get contraception, I would imagine that abortion referrals would be necessary precisely because of the lack of funding.”

Healthy Texas Women
Pojman said Texas’ own family planning services program could easily absorb the 8,800 Planned Parenthood Medicaid patients.

Created by the Legislature, Healthy Texas Women launched in 2016 to provide family planning and health care services to low-income women. It served 173,000 women in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available.

By: SHANNON NAJMABADI

And on Jan. 22 — 48 years after the landmark Roe v. Wade decision — two “trigger” bills were filed that would ban abortion in Texas if the Supreme Court overturned the case or otherwise altered abortion laws. Another bill could ban abortion after 12 weeks.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are at the very center of what it means to be an American,” state Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney, one of the bill authors, said in a statement. “I believe there always has been and always will be energy from Texans to promote and protect life.”

Advocates of abortion rights fear the tone already set augurs a fierce fight about the procedure during a time when the pandemic has limited the public’s ability to voice concerns within the Capitol.
——————-
Joe Pojman, who leads another anti-abortion group called Texas Alliance for Life, is reticent to pass laws that would be blocked by the courts and not enforced. Legal losses can also empower advocates of abortion access and can be costly. When the Supreme Court ruled against Texas’ attempt to impose additional regulations on abortion providers in 2016, the state was ordered to pay than $2 million.

Pojman thinks the odds that anti-abortion bills gain traction are “substantially higher” this year than in the 2019 legislative session, which focused on bread-and-butter issues like school finance and property taxes — and came just months after Democrats picked up a dozen House seats in the Nov. 2018 elections.