But anti-abortion groups Texas Alliance for Life and the hard Texas Right to Life aren’t throwing their full support behind HB 1500. Joe Pojman, director of Texas Alliance for Life, said while he’s excited about the number of lawmakers signing on, his group is not recommending that the Legislature pass it. “We’re just recommending bills that have a reasonable chance of sustaining a federal court challenge,” Pojman said.
Love began lobbying in 1999 at the encouragement of Joe Pojman, executive director of anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life. Love has “an inexhaustible energy when it comes to defending unborn babies,” Pojman said this spring. The two met through Pojman’s wife, who is Love’s patient. (“He caught all of my babies when they came out,” Pojman said, laughing.) They’ve worked together since — Pojman calls Love “around the clock” to discuss strategy; Love reaches out for lobbying tips.
The longtime feud brewing among anti-abortion advocates is coming to a head this primary cycle. Last month, the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a “parish advisory” against the far-right Texas Right to Life, calling the group’s scoring of lawmakers unfair. While the bishops favor the incremental approach deployed by Texas Alliance for Life, the House Freedom Caucus-aligned Texas Right to Life has taken to attacking any incumbent that does not vote for even the most extreme anti-abortion measures.
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The anti-abortion infighting is particularly apparent in the race for Senate District 2 in Northeast Texas, where Representative Cindy Burkett is challenging Senator Bob Hall. Burkett, who sponsored the sweeping anti-abortion bill that passed this session, has a 100 percent rating from Texas Alliance for Life, which calls her a “pro-life champion.”
“It’s very clear now that [Justice Kennedy] will not uphold any state or federal provision that makes abortion less accessible, that’s the unfortunate reality,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, an anti-abortion group aligned with House leadership.
Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, said that he would support individuals who knowingly assist with the abortion facing prosecution, but that Moody’s inclusion of drivers and receptionists was “far-fetched.”
“It’s possible a third party could be prosecuted, but it would have to be someone close to the physician that is knowingly performing the abortion, like a nurse,” added Pojman, who said that in his 25 years lobbying against abortion in Texas, he’s never heard this kind of objection.
“This is really about ensuring babies are treated in a humane manner — that their bodies are not desecrated, their organs are not harvested and sold,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, the anti-abortion group aligned with Republican House leadership.