Funding abortion alternatives
Joe Pojman, executive director of the anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life, is unimpressed by the fundraising totals touted by abortion funds, both in and out of Texas, when compared to the amount spent on programs that advocate against abortion, he said.
Funding abortion alternatives
Amy O’Donnell, communications director for Texas Alliance for Life, said the nonprofit dedicated to protecting the “right to life” beginning at conception is acutely aware of groups that provide abortion pills to Texans.
“This is something that we proactively work to bring legislation for that would provide a deterrent for any who would wish to illegally traffic those mail-order drugs to Texas women from within our state or from another state,” O’Donnell said.
Amy O’Donnell, communications director for Texas Alliance For Life, said her organization has been following the Zurawski case closely. The Alliance supports a “life-threatening” exemption to state abortion laws, but believes the language in abortion bans is clear.
O’Donnell said many doctors and pregnant people misunderstand Texas law. She said the women in the Zurawski case received suboptimal medical care.
“We’ll continue to work to maintain our laws, to keep them strong, to not allow any weakening exceptions and to work against any legislation or judicial activism that would try to rewrite our laws in a way that does not protect life,” she 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.”
When we heard about Amanda Zurawski’s case specifically, my organization consulted with six well-informed doctors in this area of medicine. When Zurawski was in her 18th week, well before viability, she suffered from a rare but severe condition known as preterm premature rupture of membranes, or PPROM. In other words, her water broke. Because the unborn baby was so young, there was little chance for her baby to survive. Without intervention, Zurawski’s life was in danger from infection. All six doctors said the standard of care is to induce labor with the intent to save the mother’s life, knowing that, sadly, the unborn child would not survive, and to do so without waiting until the woman’s death is imminent or for the baby’s heart to stop beating. All confirmed this is permitted under Texas law.
Unfortunately, that is not what her physician did. Her doctor waited until Ms. Zurawski developed sepsis before providing the appropriate treatment. Tragically, she lost her baby, and she almost lost her life. But that had nothing to do with Texas law. It is a dangerous lie that lifesaving care is not permitted under Texas pro-life laws. The language of the life of the mother exception in Texas law is clear: no woman with a life-threatening pregnancy should be required to wait before receiving treatment from her physician.
Much misinformation and confusion have been widely perpetuated regarding the life of the mother exception within Texas pro-life laws. However, Texas’ laws are carefully crafted to allow doctors to promptly treat women with life-threatening conditions without the risk of criminal or civil liability. The exception language in our more recent laws is the same language put into law in 2013 to protect unborn babies from abortion beginning at 20 weeks. No physician has been prosecuted for performing abortions to save the mother’s life under that law.
The subsequent drop in abortions has been a victory for anti-abortion groups, said Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. However, he said there is still more the movement wants to change.
“For many states, post-Dobbs, is equivalent to pre-Dobbs,” Pojman said. “I would expect the pro-life movement on a national level to continue to grow.”
Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, agreed that abortion foes must keep up their efforts, telling The Associated Press, “Pro-lifers are not going to give up — it’s a civil rights issue for us.”
The Roe case, which originated in Dallas County, was a historic moment both for reproductive rights and other privacy cases. Fifty years later, 13 states have no access to abortion due to trigger bans that took effect after the Dobbs decision. Several other states have limited access or could enact full bans in the upcoming legislative session.