Legislation to prohibit the sale or donation of abortion-related fetal tissue won approval Wednesday in the Texas Senate with four Democrats joining the solid block of Republicans. The measure, Senate Bill 8, was offered in response to secretly recorded videos that surfaced in 2015 that purported to show a representative from Planned Parenthood in Houston trying to set up the sale of tissue resulting from abortion.
“We realize that there’s not a realistic way to ban abortions. They are going to remain readily available,” says Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, which helped write the state law. Given that, he says, “we believe that the states should protect the health and safety of women who are undergoing abortions.”
Overall funding for women’s health services is at a historic high in Texas; it’s just not going to clinics that perform abortions, said Joe Pojman, head of the anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life. This year, state lawmakers earmarked than $130 million for services ranging from breast and cervical cancer screenings to family planning counseling and pregnancy centers, according to state figures.
“Our goal is that no woman will choose to seek abortions,” says Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, who helped draft the current law. “We realize that vision is not going to be reality in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, we want to ensure women have all the information they have to make an informed decision.”
Many elected officials and media outlets speculate that texas tough abortion restrictions will soon spread to other states after the recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding HB 2.
“The Supreme Court allows states to regulate abortion to ensure women have all the information they need to make an informed decision and to make sure it’s done in a safe manner,” Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, said outside the courtroom after the hearing. “That’s all this law does.”