By: Morgan O'Hanlon and Todd J. Gillman

But, like other groups trying to restrict access to abortion, Texas Alliance for Life was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling.

“Every day since September 1 that the law has been in effect has been a tremendous victory for unborn children who would otherwise have lost their lives to abortion. We are hopeful that this is not the last word and that the Fifth Circuit will reverse Judge Pitman’s order,” said the group’s executive director Joe Pojman.

By: By BeLynn Hollers

Texas Alliance for Life said it will not be participating in lawsuits against those who seek abortions in violation of SB 8.

Dr. Joe Pojman, founder and executive director, said that his organization has “not been involved in that and we have no plans to do that,” but will instead focus on helping women.

Pojman said that the Texas Legislature and the governor have also taken steps to help pregnant women and their children, noting that the state budget includes $100 million for the next two years for alternative pregnancy programs.

“We have vast resources in Texas to help women who have unplanned pregnancies,” he said.

By: Alex Briseno

Texas’ push to restrict abortion comes as abortion rights advocates and opponents set their sights on the Supreme Court after news landed last week that it had agreed to take up a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

Such tests of Roe were expected, particularly after then-President Donald Trump appointed three conservative justices to the Supreme Court.

The court’s decision to consider Mississippi’s law and Texas’ push to pass abortion restrictions in the interim have abortion rights advocates reminding Texans that abortion is still legal as they vow to fight Texas’ laws in court.

Texas Alliance for Life and other abortion opponents welcome the recent developments. That includes the Senate’s latest action on the trigger bill, known by abortion opponents as the “Human Life Protection Act,” which is a “principal goal” for Texas Alliance for Life, according to the organization’s executive director, Joe Pojman.

“The passage of the Human Life Protection Act is especially significant in light of the recent announcement of the United States Supreme Court to consider the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case,” Pojman said. “To whatever extent the Supreme Court allows states to protect unborn babies from abortion — whether at 15 weeks, six weeks, or at conception — the Human Life Protection Act will go into effect to the same extent.”

By: Alex Briseno

The executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life, Joe Pojman, said Republicans’ success in November should embolden abortion opponents heading into the legislative session that began Tuesday.

“The blue wave, funded by millions of dollars, came into Texas, crashed on the rocks and went nowhere,” Pojman said. “I think Republicans have every right to feel emboldened to continue to advance a reasonable but a conservative agenda.”

He added, “The seas are much flatter and less turbulent now for leadership in the House and Senate than two years ago.”

Courtney Chambers, Texas advocacy director for Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, said the pandemic makes access to abortion especially important this session.

“Lawmakers should really be focusing on ensuring expanded access to health care, making sure people have everything they need and not spending time on restricting access and restricting abortion care,” Chambers said. “Now is not the time, during a pandemic, to focus on having less access to health care.”

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the third high court pick of Trump’s presidency, was confirmed on Oct. 26, the week before Election Day.

Democrats opposed the timing of the nomination, citing 2016, when the Republican-led Senate shut out President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, almost eight months before the elections. The Senate confirmed Barrett on a 52-48 vote, sliding the Supreme Court to the right and giving abortion opponents hope that the court will chip away at abortion rights.

Pojman said one of Alliance for Life’s priorities is passage of the Human Life Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion beginning at fertilization if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

He also said his group is closely watching Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that could allow the high court to review Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which failed to go into effect in 2018 when a federal appeals court ruled it unconstitutional.

If the Supreme Court takes the case, Pojman said, Texas needs to have a new law ready to go into effect when the court rules.

“They may allow states to ban abortions at 15 weeks, they may change the precedent in other ways; we have no way to know,” Pojman said. “We have realized that we have to be very patient. Our hopes have been dashed many, many times in the past, but there’s a possibility.”

By: Maria Mendez

Meanwhile, anti-abortion groups say state leaders, who are beginning to reopen the economy, had a legitimate interest in protecting public health.

“We’re really grateful to the governor for issuing these executive orders that have been intended to protect the public and the medical providers serving the public,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of the Texas Alliance For Life.