Texas Alliance for Life and Texans for Life Coalition, two of the groups recommended as Texas Right to Life alternatives by TCCB, have come under fire from Texas Right to Life’s executive director, Jim Graham, who has labeled both “fake pro-life organizations.” Graham has also nicknamed Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojman “Joe Poison.” That nickname has less to do with Pojman’s politics — which are staunchly anti-choice — and more to do with calculated decisions, like testifying against unconstitutional anti-abortion legislation likely to be defeated in court. Pojman told the San Antonio Express-News that when pro-choice plaintiffs win in court, “We view that as financing the abortion providers.”
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“We regret that there is a split in the pro-life movement,” Pojman told the Express-News. “It is not our preference, and we seek to have all the groups working together, but a marriage takes two willing partners.”
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Anti-choice organizations have plenty of company. Texas Right to Life is allied with Empower Texans, a conservative group that targets center-right Republicans. A 2014 Dallas Morning News editorial named Michael Quinn Sullivan, the group’s president, as a towering figure in the state — one on a “mission to purge the GOP establishment of people who flunk his purity test for conservatism.”
That mentality seems to drive Texas Right to Life as well, per both the TCCB directive and lawmakers themselves. In addition to outgoing Straus — the state’s first Jewish Speaker of the House, who Texas Right to Life’s Graham has called “Herr Straus” — a number of other conservative politicians have also drawn the organization’s wrath.