A Catholic Take welcomes Joe Pojman, Ph.D. of @TXAlliance4Life to discuss one year since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Then we’re joined by Jordan Pacheco of the Glad Trad Podcast to tackle divorce from a Catholic perspective.
Texas Alliance for Life Communications Director Amy O’Donnell said the timing of this law fits with the first anniversary of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
“Texas recognizes that we have to do more because there will be even more births in our state as we’ve seen,” O’Donnell said.
Attorney General Ken Paxton and Texas Medical Board Executive Director Stephen Brint Carlton are named defendants in the case. The offices of Paxton and Brint Carlton did not respond to a request for comment.
Paxton has previously said he will continue to defend “the pro-life laws of Texas and the lives of all unborn children.”
The Texas Alliance for Life, a statewide anti-abortion organization, responded to the Zurawski case when it was filed in March via a public statement.
The organization said Texas law is “carefully crafted” to allow doctors to treat pregnant people with life-threatening conditions without risk of criminal or civil liability.
“Texas Alliance for Life supports clarification of the medical emergency exception language within Texas’ pro-life laws,” the Alliance for Life said in the statement. “That clarification needs to come in the same way doctors are educated about other legislation affecting their practice in Texas.”
“I can’t help but reflect with joy on this decision that allowed Texas to protect life beginning at conception. Outside of emergency medical exceptions, the number of abortions in Texas has dropped down to zero. We absolutely believe that it’s saving lives. We celebrate every life that has been saved in Texas as a result of our pro-life laws,” Amy O’Donnell, communications director at Texas Alliance for Life, said.
She said her organization works with pregnancy centers across the state that provide support and assistance for women who choose to move forward with their pregnancy and give birth to their children.
“One thing we have worked on, which is really no different than what we’ve focused on in the past, is to educate Texans about the vast resources that Texas offers women. There’s resources to specifically help low-income women and women facing unplanned pregnancies,” O’Donnell, said. “We believe in the value of protecting lives conceived even in rape or babies diagnosed with disabilities in their mother’s wombs.”
O’Donnell believes the language in the Human Life Protection Act is clear when it comes to the exceptions that can be made for abortions, but acknowledges there could be more clarification on the law.
My Legislative Highlights
My goal for this session was to pass strong, conservative legislation that ensures that the Texas Miracle lives on. Below are a couple of bills that I either authored or sponsored that are now on Gov. Abbott’s desk waiting to be signed into law.
HB 3162 restores life-affirming values in healthcare by amending the Texas Advance Directives Act to revise provisions related to life-sustaining treatment and DNR orders for patients who are incompetent or mentally/physically incapable of communication. Current law allows a Hospital committee to withdraw a patient’s basic life-sustaining treatment with a 10-day notice. This bill will extend the period to twenty-five days and provides for a seven-day notice, giving patients and their families time to transfer to a different physician or facility that will respect their decision. It was an honor to work on this legislation with Representative Klick, Texas Right to Life, Texas Alliance for Life, and Texans for Life Coalition.
Texas’s Alternatives to Abortion (A2A) program will receive $140 million over the 2024-2025 biennium, a 40% percent increase from the current cycle.
Joe Pojman, PhD, executive director for the Texas Alliance for Life, told State of Reform the organization was pleased with the expanded support for the program, saying the passage of SB 24 will ensure its continuation now as the Thriving Texas Families (TTF) program.
“Now the [A2A] program is going to be [on a] statutory basis,” Pojman said. “The executive commissioner of HHSC will promulgate rules for a variety of things like outcome measures for how well the contractors are performing—according to what the department sees. It also more closely links [TTF] with other programs that the state has so it’s easier for those clients to access them. It’s more natural for the providers to link and refer the clients to [the Medicaid program].”