Paul Linton, an attorney for the anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life, said he thought a higher court would soon vacate the temporary restraining order and that the pre-Roe abortion ban should stand.

“I don’t think it has any merit,” Linton said. “I don’t think there’s any plausible argument that the laws have been expressly repealed, and the repeal-by-implication argument, I think, is very weak.”


On the other side, those celebrating the end of abortion in Texas also believe Friday’s ruling will rally voters to continue supporting the anti-abortion cause.

“I believe that our pro-life voters will feel empowered to continue voting,” Amy O’Donnell, a spokesperson for Texas Alliance for Life, told the Tribune. While she hesitates to make political predictions, O’Donnell says she anticipates the decision will spur voters to “come out in droves” in November.

O’Donnell attributes the success of anti-abortion advocates to “playing the long game for 49 years, advocating for life on a national basis, on a statewide basis. … We’ll continue to do that.”

Now, abortion-rights advocates say they need to follow that model.


Lawyers for anti-abortion groups argued that the 2004 case, McCorvey v. Hill, was wrongly decided.

“The final interpreter and the ultimate authoritative interpreter of state law is a state court, not some federal court, not even the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Paul Linton, special counsel for Texas Alliance for Life. “State prosecutors are not bound by that [2004] decision.”

The Texas District & County Attorneys Association on Friday wrote in an interim legislative update that the legal ambiguity could make prosecuting abortion cases difficult.

“How these existing laws interact … is anyone’s guess,” the association’s update read, “because the new ‘trigger law’ did not amend or repeal these existing crimes.”

The pre-Roe laws include more detailed provisions than Texas’ trigger ban, including the potential to charge anyone who “furnishes the means” for someone to obtain an abortion. The threat of criminal charges has been enough to chill both abortion procedures as well as funding for Texans to travel and obtain abortions outside the state.


Anti-abortion advocates acknowledge those issues in their comments after the ruling.

“Now the pro-life movement can expend even greater resources toward providing compassionate alternatives to abortion for women with unplanned pregnancies,” the Texas Alliance for Life said in a statement. “Our goal continues to be to build a society where abortion is unthinkable, and women with unplanned pregnancies take full advantage of the vast resources available to them.”


But now, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, clearing the way for Texas to ban abortion in nearly all cases. Domestic violence victims are among the least likely to be able to travel out of state or safely self-manage a medication abortion at home, leaving them no choice but to carry a pregnancy to term.

For advocates and legislators who have spent decades working to ban abortion in Texas, domestic violence does not justify an exception to the rule.

“When a woman is a victim of sexual assault that results in pregnancy, from our point of view, we now have two victims,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life. “Violence is not a solution to violence, and we consider abortion very much a violent act.”

Pojman argues that abortion perpetuates violence by allowing abusers to cover up evidence of sexual assault and reproductive coercion.


Joe Pojman, executive director of the anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life, said he would also support an increase in funding for the Alternative to Abortions program, which the Legislature funded with $100 million this two-year budget cycle. The program pays a far-flung network of nonprofits — many of them ardently anti-abortion — for counseling, classes on prenatal nutrition and newborn care, and the provision of baby items.

But Pojman says lawmakers need to better promote the program so more pregnant people have access to it.

“For a lot of women who find themselves pregnant, they don’t even know that those exist,” he said.