Joe Pojman, director of Texas Alliance for Life, told me he thinks the Supreme Court’s decision bodes well for the Texas law. “We think we had a very good case before the Supreme Court ruled on Indiana’s law, and we think this case is even stronger now,” he said.
Joe Pojman, the executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, told me his organization fully expects the Texas legislature to approve either the Senate or House version of the bill and Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, to sign one of them. Both bills, Pojman said, “really demonstrate the concern of the Texas legislature, and, after it’s signed, of the governor, that we want to do everything possible to protect unborn babies and babies who survive abortion.”
Many news outlets are reporting the state has received no reports of babies born alive after abortions, but Pojman pointed out that abortionists likely wouldn’t report those because state law protects unborn babies after 20 weeks of gestation unless the mother’s life is in danger or the baby has a severe abnormality.
“We suspect that [live births] may be going on in certain facilities,” Pojman said. “However, it would be naive to assume that a physician who performs a late abortion, which results in a live birth, would report that live birth to the state. It would be like asking a physician who cheats on his income taxes to report that cheating to the IRS.”
Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, told me that, overall, the Healthy Texas Women program is flourishing. He rejected the common criticism among pro-abortion people that no amount of effort can replace Planned Parenthood.
Pojman pointed out that federally qualified health centers and certified physicians offices greatly outnumber Planned Parenthood centers, especially in rural areas. Dublin, Texas, a rural town of 3,605 people outside Fort Worth, has no Planned Parenthood facilities but boasts 57 Healthy Texas Women–participating providers. Austin has than 100 certified Healthy Texas Women clinics, compared to three Planned Parenthood locations.
“By all measures, [the state is] serving low-income women,” Pojman said. “They have low-income women enrolled, they have providers enrolled than ever before, and the state is spending funding in general on women’s health services at a historically high level.” He added, “At Planned Parenthood, a woman will not see a physician unless she is there for an abortion. So these women are typically getting much better care.”
Losing The Heidi Group, he said, is not going to hamper Texas’ efforts to redirect funding from abortion providers to other health centers.
Joe Pojman, director of Texas Alliance for Life, told me he disagreed with Ezra’s opinion that the Texas law places an unconstitutional burden on women seeing an abortion.
“There are dozens of funeral services and burial services providers who have stepped forward saying they will work with any hospital to provide free funeral services or burial services,” Pojman said. “Judge Ezra did not give that significant weight in his opinion, unfortunately.”
In July, attorneys for the abortion providers suing the state agreed to a pre-trial court order that “they will not seek to introduce evidence concerning the monetary cost of compliance with the challenged laws, including the cost of collection, storage, transportation, and disposal of embryonic and fetal tissue remains.”
The stipulation came from evidence presented in court that showed the requirements would add between $.50 and $1.50 to the cost of each abortion.
“We have dozens of providers who are willing to help,” Pojman said. “Cost is not an issue. There’s just really no reason that this can’t go into effect. I think the plaintiffs’ main concern is that the state of Texas is recognizing the unborn child is a baby who has dignity that should be recognized.”
Texas Alliance for Life’s executive director Joe Pojman told me the Obama administration’s rules barring states from directing tax dollars away from an entity based on whether it performs abortions are flawed. “Hopefully under the Trump administration, that will be rectified,” he said. “In the meantime, it’s very clear that Texas should be able to exclude providers who violate state and federal laws.”
Abortion advocates claim the closures hurt communities, but Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, said the facilities did not adequately protect patients. “Requiring a doctor at an abortion facility to have admitting privileges at a local hospital is common sense,” he said. “In the event of a serious complication from an abortion, the physician should be able to follow the patient to the emergency room to continue caring for his or her patient.”