By: Ryan Chandler

On Monday, however, Texas Alliance for Life said there is no need to change the law to accomplish that.

“Our laws are very clear,” Amy O’Donnell with the Alliance for Life said. “We have heard stories of doctors who say they need further clarification. And we believe that that clarification should come in the same way that it comes for doctors regarding other legislative laws that have passed that affect their practice, and that’s through the various boards that provide that clarification for them, as well as for nurses and for pharmacists. The laws do not need to be changed.”

By: Selena Simmons-Duffin

‘Texas laws are working as designed’
Amy O’Donnell, director of communications for the Texas Alliance for Life, calls Casiano’s situation “heartbreaking,” but says she supports the abortion bans and opposes creating exceptions for fetal anomalies.

“I do believe the Texas laws are working as designed,” she says. “I also believe that we have a responsibility to educate Texas women and families on the resources that we have available to them, both for their pregnancy, for childbirth and beyond, as well as in situations where they face an infant loss.”

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She says several private and religious organizations provide free caskets and other services, but said public funds for infant funerals is not currently part of the “Alternatives to Abortion” state program. “That’s not to say that it shouldn’t be, and if the legislature decided to move that direction, we would support that,” O’Donnell says.

Duane says Texas has promised those funds before, as part of its defense of the fetal burial law. In that lawsuit, Duane argued that funerals can be expensive. “The state kept promising that they were going to provide all of these resources and grants and all this money for people who needed to have funerals,” Duane says. “[Texas] never did any of that. It was all just political theater.”

Halo’s funeral on Good Friday
Because she went into labor early, Casiano has less time than she expected to sort out how to pay for Halo’s funeral. She was quoted $4,000 by one funeral home. The family moved less than a year ago and used up all their savings on the move. Her family cooked menudo, a spicy Mexican soup, and raised $645 selling it by the bowl.

Cogdell, who runs the Christian grief group that’s been helping Casiano, says she was able to get several services donated, including picking up the baby’s body. In addition to the $480 she raised for Halo’s funeral, Cogdell said she used her organization’s general family assistance funds to pay for the rest of the funeral, which cost $1,400 in all.


Let’s put aside, for a moment, the fact that most of Prop A is likely to be disregarded by our municipal government if it passes, because City Attorney Andy Segovia says the justice-director provision is the only piece of it that doesn’t violate state law.

Let’s also put aside, for a moment, the fact that if Prop A passes, its abortion-decriminalization provision will be challenged in court by Texas Alliance for Life, an Austin-based anti-abortion group.

Let’s pretend that voters approve Prop A and the city actually implements it. What would that mean for San Antonians? In truth, much would remain the same.

No one is currently getting arrested in this city for providing or receiving an abortion. That wouldn’t change.

By: Selena Simmons-Duffin

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: I also spoke to Amy O’Donnell. She’s with the Texas Alliance for Life, and she told me she does not support adding more exceptions to Texas’ abortion laws.

AMY O’DONNELL: I do believe the Texas laws are working as designed. I also believe that we have a responsibility to educate Texas women and families on the resources that we have available to them.

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: She says there are private organizations that can help with funerals, and her group would support public funds being used for that, too. Samantha and her family are getting some extra support. Since NPR published her story yesterday, many people were moved to donate to her funeral fundraising page, and they’ve now donated $30,000 and counting.

By: Ali Linan

Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, one of the largest pro-life organizations in the state, said the organization “strongly supports” where Texas currently stands in its abortion laws. He added that recent statistics from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Induced Termination of Pregnancy report found that abortions in the state have plummeted from thousands per month to zero elective abortions and a handful of abortions to protect the life of the mother.

“At no time in our work toward protecting life have we supported legislation in favor of prosecuting mothers,” Pojman said. “Women facing unplanned pregnancies need compassionate support and alternatives to abortion, not criminal prosecution.”

“It’s important now that we focus on maintaining our pro-life gains, expanding funding for the state’s alternatives-to-abortion program, and holding rogue DAs accountable who say they will not enforce Texas pro-life laws,” he added.