As written, the bill would not require a pregnant person to file a police report or provide forensic evidence. Alvarado said it’s because many women don’t report abuse in the first place. But since no record would be required to obtain an abortion, anti-abortion advocates see this as a way to create a loophole so any woman could have the procedure.

“Women could claim rape or assault or incest where, in fact, that has not happened. And it creates a potential loophole in an exception that we don’t support that would allow women to lie to receive abortions. We would hope that no woman would do that, but it does leave that door open,” said Amy O’Donnell, the director of communications for Texas Alliance for Life.

Seth Chandler, a law professor at the University of Houston, said this is where the legal waters get murky.

nti-abortion advocates don’t want to see a sexual assault exemption added to the abortion law.

“We believe that it’s wrong to discriminate against anyone based on how they came into being. And even with that beginning story, that child is still deserving of life, and so we will not support that,” O’Donnell said.

Even though most abortions are illegal in Texas, Hagstrom Miller stressed that there’s still a big need for it.

“Just because you ban abortion, it doesn’t change the need for abortion,” she said. “An abortion ban doesn’t prevent people from still needing abortions in the state of Texas. It just prevents people from getting that care from trained medical professionals. And I think that’s what we have to remember as we try to assist people in our communities that really need access to the safe, essential medical care that is abortion.”

Some Republicans have said there might need to be an exception to the abortion law for sexual assault, but it’s unlikely that abortion will become legal again next year.


The recommendation to the full advisory committee is that “the rules governing judicial bypass should not be repealed.”

The subcommittee argues that judicial bypass is necessary because a pregnant minor might still face impairment or death unless an abortion is performed.

Amy O’Donnell is the communications director of the Texas Alliance for Life. She said because Texas law allows an abortion if the mother’s life is in danger, a judge’s permission is no longer necessary.

“There are no abortions taking place in the state of Texas, with the exception of a medical emergency situation,” O’Donnell said. “And because of that, there is no reason that a minor girl would need to seek a judicial bypass to obtain a procedure that is not legal in the state of Texas.”

Blake Rocap is the legal director with Jane’s Due Process, an organization that helps young people navigate parental consent laws. He said judicial bypass actually is still necessary for minors seeking an abortion.

“People under the age of 18 still have to get written notarized consent from their parent or guardian, or a judicial bypass, even if they have a life-threatening condition,” Rocap said. “The requirements on the physician in the emergency situation to perform the abortion are not the same as the requirements for parental notification and consent and what that looks like in emergency situation. They’re not the same. The physician has to comply with both of those things.”


Dr. Joe Pojman, the executive director for the anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life, says abortion absolves men of the financial responsibilities that fatherhood requires for at least 18 years. But he said emotions can linger, because abortions rob men of the opportunity to be fathers.

“Some of my very best friends have been involved in abortions, got their girlfriend’s pregnant, girlfriends went had an abortion, and they were devastated. And this is something they carry with them for their lives. For decades,” Dr. Pojman said.

Dr. Pojman said he became an anti-abortion advocate when a former girlfriend of his confided in him about her own abortion.

“Those scars ran very deep in her heart,” Dr. Pojman said. “I realized that I could no longer be a bystander. As a man, I have as much responsibility to be involved to protect mothers and unborn babies from abortion, the same as women, the same as anyone in society.”

He noted that men have a responsibility in pregnancy, and they shouldn’t just say it’s “a woman’s issue.”

“To me, that’s simply a cop out,” he said. “It’s just trying to wash their hands from any responsibility… With the Human Life Protection Act going into effect, babies are protected from abortion, beginning at conception. Our hope is that men are involved, that they’re showing support, and taking responsibility for their actions.”


“It’s egregious to me that the Biden-Harris administration would use women as political pawns in their game when it comes to protecting life,” said Amy O’Donnell, a communications director at Texas Alliance for Life, an anti-abortion lobbying group. “There’s simply no reason conceivable outside of politics that they turn this down in Texas.”

Lawmakers say they suspect the denial resulted from the language in the legislation that says coverage continues from “the date the woman delivers or experiences an involuntary miscarriage.” They say that could be interpreted as excluding those who had abortions from any expansion of Medicaid.


It has not been used for nearly a half-century, but some abortion opponents believe it is fair game after Roe’s reversal.

“They have ceased doing abortions because of the threat of prosecution under that pre-Roe law,” Joe Pojman, executive director for Texas Alliance for Life, said. “I’m very grateful that for right now, it appears that unborn babies are not being aborted. Hopefully, those women are being told about the alternatives, the vast resources available to them if they choose to give birth to the child.”


Dr. Joe Pojman is on the other side of the debate. Dr. Pojman is anti-abortion, but, like Cotter, believes men should speak their opinions.

“Everyone has seen these images of the unborn baby,” Dr. Pojman said. “I have been involved with this issue for more than three decades.”

Thirty-four years ago, he founded the Texas Alliance for Life with one primary goal.

“To protect unborn babies against the tragedy of abortion all the way to conception,” he said.