By: Kevin Reece

“We are not in favor of any weakening exceptions,” said Amy O’Donnell with Texas Alliance for Life. “Children who are diagnosed with a disability in the womb or a fatal diagnosis in the womb are as worthy of protection as any other child. And we believe that the language is adequate to protect a mother’s life when a doctor needs to intervene to save her life or to avoid any risk.”

There is no timeline on when the Texas Supreme Court justices will issue a decision. They could leave the law as it is or let the injunction stand until further lower court arguments spell out more clearly what physicians can and cannot do when it comes to abortion in Texas.

By: Tiffany Huertas & Adam Barraza

A spokesperson for the Texas Alliance for Life, a pro-life organization, released this statement:

“We celebrate the long-anticipated overturning of Roe v. Wade and the greater number of lives now being saved in states across our nation and in the great state of Texas.

We applaud the measures our pro-life Governor, Lt Governor, Speaker, and legislators have taken to take care of both women and their unborn children, including increased funding for the state’s highly successful Alternatives to Abortion program, the provision of the Healthy Texas Women Program to provide for the healthcare needs of women, and the increase of Medicaid coverage for up to six months after birth for moms and 12 months for their babies.

We also applaud the Legislature for passing and Governor Abbott for signing HB 1280, the Human Life Protection Act, to completely protect unborn babies from abortion beginning at conception. That law will go into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court issues its judgment in the Dobbs case, expected any day.

We will continue to work to protect innocent human life, get pro-life candidates elected, educate women about the vast resources available to them, and partner with pro-life organizations to advance a culture of life across Texas.”

By: Katie Kindelan

Since 2003, Texas has included fetal personhood language in its penal code, which recognizes an unborn child as being an individual “at every stage of gestation.”

Amy O’Donnell, director of communications for Texas Alliance for Life — an organization that supports restrictions to abortion access and supported the law that added fetal personhood language to Texas’s penal code — said that under the code, if a pregnant woman is in a car accident and their unborn child is killed, the death could be prosecutable.

In Bottone’s case of contesting an HOV ticket due to a pregnancy, O’Donnell said that while she recognizes Bottone’s unborn baby as a person, she does not necessarily see it as a second passenger because of the “intent and purpose” of the HOV law in the state’s transportation code.

“Each code covers different areas of the law,” said O’Donnell. “Is it still an unborn baby in both situations, absolutely yes. We recognize that. But the purpose of an HOV lane is to carpool, vanpool or ride-share so does that unborn child currently fit within the realm of the law, not at this point in time in Texas.”

O’Donnell said this case in particular opens the door to what she described as a “slippery slope.”

“If we go down this road, if a passenger in an HOV lane that’s riding in its mother’s womb counts as a separate passenger, what does that mean for other passenger areas such as on plane,” said O’Donnell. “If that pregnant woman gets on a plane and we want to recognize that unborn baby in the womb as a second passenger, does she then have to buy a ticket?”

According to O’Donnell, the purpose of giving personhood to unborn babies in state laws is to “protect unborn babies from injury or homicide.”

“Life begins at conception and a body within a pregnant woman’s body is not that woman’s body,” she said. “It’s a unique being with separate DNA, unique fingerprints and, as such, it is very much a person beginning at conception and worthy of protection.”

Texas is one of around one dozen states in the U.S. that includes fetal personhood language in legislation restricting or banning abortion, according to Dana Sussman, deputy executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW), a nonprofit organization that supports abortion rights.

By: Roxie Bustamante

Counter-demonstrators were also present at both of the rallies this Saturday.

Amy O’Donnell with Texas Alliance for Life says members with the organization have been present at similar rallies from the Texas capitol to Washington D.C. O’Donnell said the organization has also been preparing in the event that the Supreme Court final decision is announced in the coming weeks.

“That could happen as early as Monday,” O’Donnell said, “It could happen as late as the end of June and so we recognize we are waiting on a week to week basis but we’re cautiously optimistic.”