By: BY CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF

“Violence is not a solution to violence, and we consider abortion to very much be a violent act,” said Amy O’Donnell, communications director for Texas Alliance for Life.

O’Donnell pointed to the state’s Alternatives to Abortion program, which is allotted more than $100 million to crisis pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies, as a resource to help women experiencing domestic violence.

“As imperfect as our systems are, the state of Texas does have a responsibility, as well as the pro-life movement, to do everything possible to help any woman in a domestic violence situation or a rape/incest situation and her unborn child to get out of any abusive situations and move forward and support them in choosing life,” O’Donnell said.

Advocates want victims to know the recent Supreme Court ruling doesn’t change the fact that they still have options.

“Survivors shouldn’t believe the lie that help is not available to them, because it is,” Shetter said.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233. Those looking for help can also call or text the Genesis Women’s Shelter hotline at 214-946-4357. You can reach One Safe Place at 817-916-4323.

By: WILLIAM MELHADO

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.

By: Ali Linan

For Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, the decision could not come soon enough.

“We are ecstatic,” he said in a statement following the news.

With this win under their belt, Pojman said the anti-abortion movement will transition into a new phase – the “pro-life movement 2.0,” as he called it.

Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate with Texas Right to Life, said the fight is not over in their view.

“This is not the end of the story; it’s really just the end of a chapter. And we’re moving into a new chapter in the pro-life movement,” she said.

Pojman said that although they anticipate plenty of lawsuits about the court decision, his organization will begin to concentrate greater effort “in providing compassionate alternatives to women with unplanned pregnancies.”

In that, Pojman said his group will continue to push for funding of the state’s Alternatives to Abortion program, to which state legislators have appropriated $100 million. The program provides counseling, material assistance and social services for up to three years after birth. The state budget accounts for helping about 150,000 women each year, Pojman said.

While the program is funded at the whims of the state Legislature, Pojman said he believes there is enough support for the program that he does not see it ending any time in the near future. He added that his organization will continue to monitor the results of the program.

“We have a goal of creating a society in Texas which truly is compassionate for women with unplanned pregnancies so that no woman seeks to have an abortion,” Pojman said. “We want women to have all the resources they need to successfully carry their babies to term, give birth to the babies, (then) keep the babies or place the babies for adoption and would feel 100% at peace with those options.”

Current law, including the state’s pre-Roe statutes and so-called “trigger law” passed last year, criminalizes the act of performing an abortion or aiding someone in receiving an abortion through threats of heavy fines, litigation and jail time. This includes providing abortion pills, or any other procedure or method used in the completion an abortion, but it stops short of criminalizing mothers. There is some differing interpretation about when each of these laws will take effect.

Both Pojman and Parma said their organizations are firmly against criminalizing mothers.

By: REESE OXNER AND ERIN DOUGLAS

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.

By: Jennifer Sanders

In the 2021 fiscal year, the following contracted providers were awarded money to administer the program:

Texas Pregnancy Care Network – $36,587,141.78
Human Coalition – $8,765,185.34
Austin LifeCare – $750,000
Longview Wellness Center – $54,000

“That was a 25% increase from the 86th Legislative session to the 87th Legislative session,” said Amy O’Donnell, director of communications for Texas Alliance for Life.

KXAN asked the Texas Alliance for Life, a statewide nonprofit organization, if funding for the organization would meet a possible increase in demand some providers said they are seeing. Even as the need grows, O’Donnell thinks the funding allocated over the next two years will help over 200 pregnancy care centers in the state.

“Those centers see 150,000 women a year. So that compares well, to the roughly 55,000 abortions that we’ve seen take place in Texas per year. They are well able to meet the needs through the centers,” O’Donnell said.

By: SERGIO MARTÍNEZ-BELTRÁN

MARTINEZ-BELTRAN: That victory, however, was short-lived. Just a few weeks later, in another special session, Texas lawmakers passed a sweeping anti-abortion package that included a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually struck down key provisions of the bill, but by then, more than half of the state’s abortion providers closed. The story of how Texas got to this place of banning nearly all abortions is one that has taken decades.

AMY O’DONNELL: We’ve seen a lot of incremental gains over time.

MARTINEZ-BELTRAN: This is Amy O’Donnell, the communications director of the Texas Alliance for Life, a group that advocates against abortion.

O’DONNELL: The majority of Texans are pro-life, and we see this because they elect pro-life legislators who advocate for life.

MARTINEZ-BELTRAN: But polls tell a different story. Seventy-eight percent of Texas voters support some sort of access to abortion. Only 15% said it should never be allowed. That’s according to a survey released in April by the Texas Politics Project. Despite that, the state has continued curbing abortion, including passing a so-called trigger law, which now takes effect in 30 days. Most recently, last year, Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 8. That law, the first of its kind in the country, banned abortions as early as six weeks, empowering private citizens to enforce the law. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, O’Donnell says the state will work to support women who are pregnant.

O’DONNELL: Texas is ready to take care of women in our state. And as we’ve seen, Texas prioritized the health of women and the life of babies.

MARTINEZ-BELTRAN: She points to the state’s program called Alternatives to Abortion as an example of that. The program provides assistance, counselling and maternity classes. But it’s also been criticized by Texas Democrats for its $100-million price tag and lack of transparency. But advocates for abortion rights say they’re not completely hopeless.