No doubt 2022 will be remembered as a landmark year in the history of efforts to protect innocent human life from abortion. Everyone in the pro-life movement knows the significance of the year 1973 when the United Supreme Court blocked the enforcement of Texas pro-life law protecting unborn babies from abortion for more than a century.
This is the year that the Court reversed that terrible precedent and returned the issue of abortion to “the people and their elected representatives.”
The effect in Texas has been remarkably profound, and Texas Alliance for Life and, indeed, the State of Texas implemented plans laid out more than a year earlier. Texas has been well prepared for this moment.
We are proud of the accomplishments of Texas Alliance for Life in 2022, and we look forward to wonderful things in 2023.
Here is a summary of state achievements in 2022.
- The most pivotal pro-life victory this year, indeed in our lifetimes, is the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the terrible Roe v. Wade decision on June 24th. That opinion, called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, makes it completely clear that a right to abortion does not exist in the Constitution. Texas Alliance for Life funded and submitted an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief in the case that was referenced during oral arguments and relied upon in the opinion. Immediately, abortions in Texas came to a halt as Texas’ pre-Roe laws, initially passed in 1854, went back into effect – shocking the abortion industry. For the first time in half a century, unborn babies’ lives were protected.
- A few weeks later, on August 25th, the Human Life Protection Act went into effect. That bill – passed by the Legislature and signed by pro-life governor Abbott in 2021 – completely protects unborn babies and their mothers from abortion throughout pregnancy, beginning at conception. It also adds stricter penalties on those who perform abortions illegally. That bill, HB 1280, was a principal goal of our organization in 2021, and we lobbied for it extensively in the Capitol.
- Now, all 23 abortion facilities in our state have ceased performing abortions indefinitely, and the abortion industry in Texas has collapsed. At least half of abortion facilities have shuttered their doors, and the others seem to be trying to survive by selling contraception, transgender treatments, and even fertility treatment.
- Last year the Texas Legislature appropriated, and Governor Abbott approved, $100,000 million for the highly successful Alternatives to Abortion program, which we lobbied for extensively. Nearly 200 sites have been providing services to 150,000 clients a year so that women can successfully carry their babies to term, give birth, and keep or place the baby for adoption. The various services continue for three years after the birth of the baby.
- The tremendous network of hundreds of pregnancy centers, maternity homes, adoption agencies, and church-based programs is working well, helping thousands of women with planned and unplanned pregnancies.
We also celebrate organizational highlights.
- Our media team regularly answers questions and does interviews with media, both religious and secular, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, National Public Radio, and many more. Since January, we did more than 200 interviews reaching a potential audience of hundreds of millions of people.
- Our social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have reached hundreds of thousands of people.
- In January, we helped organize the huge Texas Rally for Life at the Capitol in Austin, featuring pro-life Governor Abbott and thousands of people from across the state, among the best in three decades.
- In June, we held our 28th annual Walk for Life with walkers from 65 churches in Central Texas. Collectively, they received more than $150,000 in pledges, the most ever.
- In October, we also held an immensely successful annual dinner with 1,100 pro-life elected officials, leaders, partners, advocates, and supporters in attendance to celebrate the fall of Roe and announce plans for the future. As the pandemic resides, there is nothing like being in an enormous ballroom filled with joyful pro-lifers.
- The midterm elections demonstrated that Texas remains a pro-life state. All statewide elected officials endorsed by our PAC prevailed by decisive margins, including Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton. And the state Senate and House remain strongly pro-life. Texas Alliance for Life played a substantial part by spending nearly $400,000 to support pro-life candidates and to turn out pro-life voters.
To keep these gains, we must defend on several fronts:
- Our lobby team will be very active when the Legislature meets in January through May to prevent any weakening of pro-life laws, especially the Human Life Protection Act, and to strengthen and increase the resources available for pregnant women.
- We will launch a sophisticated educational campaign to build a culture of life in people’s hearts so that abortion is unthinkable. We have already begun creating 16 videos for social media to show that the unborn child is a baby, that abortion hurts, not help women and families, and that Texas provides vast resources for pregnant women. Stay tuned. We will release those in 2023.
We are already building a strategy to achieve successful elections in 2024.
With 2023 just around the corner, we look forward to continuing our pro-life efforts, knowing our work is nowhere near finished.
Dr. Joe Pojman is the founder and executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.