Supporters for Texas Rally for Life gathered on 11th and Congress Avenue to protest for a complete ban on abortions beginning at fertilization. The 2021 Texas Rally for Life included a caravan of vehicles decked out with anti-abortion slogans.
Another proposal, backed by Texas Alliance for Life, would ban abortion beginning at fertilization.
Abortion bills have produced some of the Legislature’s most hard-fought, intense confrontations for more than a decade. This year promises to be no exception.
Joe Pojman, executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life, testified that his organization will be pushing the Human Life Protection Act, which would set “a complete ban on abortion beginning at fertilization” if allowed by the Supreme Court.
If the high court chisels away at abortion rights, perhaps by approving Mississippi’s currently challenged law ending abortion at 15 weeks, the act would implement the 15-week ban in Texas, Pojman said.
“Texas needs a law to ban abortions to the extent allowable,” he told the committee.
Until the Supreme Court acts, heartbeat bills and other legislation to severely limit when abortions are allowed will continue to be overturned by lower courts, “saving no lives,” Pojman said.
Amy O’Donnell, communications director for Texas Rally for Life, said the mission of the annual event was to “show the media and our elected officials that Texas is pro-life.”
O’Donnell said it was also to commemorate the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s legal right to an abortion.
Joe Pojman, director of the anti-abortion organization Texas Alliance for Life, said his organization would rather the city money go toward supporting women as they explore options other than abortion.
“We’d like to see them using that $150,000 to promote childbirth and alternatives to abortion,” Pojman said.
SB 22 is expected to block Planned Parenthood programs that include short-term clinics that provide contraceptives and health screenings at community colleges across Texas; booths at city- and county-sponsored health fairs that advocate for health testing; and HIV education in jails and prisons.
The Austin school district also is studying whether the law will affect a proposed sex education curriculum for middle school students that was developed by the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.
Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, argued that SB 22 is a political statement that will put women’s health at risk and raise the number of unintended pregnancies, leading to more abortions.
But abortion opponents, including Joe Pojman with the Texas Alliance for Life, said that even if SB 22 could not invalidate Planned Parenthood’s lease with Austin, it will block other contracts statewide, “and that’s a big gain for us.”
“We’re very pleased that this law will soon be going into effect,” Pojman said