By: Andrew Zelinski

It certainly felt that way on Saturday, when hundreds of “right to life” proponents gathered outside the Capitol for a protest marking the forty-eighth anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Some joined a of honking vehicles proceeding down Congress Avenue and held signs through open sunroofs, while others congregated on the sidewalk and chanted slogans including “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go.” In the crowd, a pair of middle-school girls jointly yelled “Abortion is murder!” and waved signs at passing drivers, jumping around as if they were at a Justin Bieber concert.

Some ardent anti-abortion advocates, such as Joe Pojman, who helped organize the rally and leads the nonprofit Texas Alliance for Life, are not convinced that the U.S. Supreme Court has shifted enough ideologically to overturn Roe, but they’d still be happy if the high court unravels the precedent a little. “We don’t think it’s likely the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in total anytime soon,” said Pojman. “We’re not sure that the court is ready.” He wants state lawmakers to prepare for the moment it is.

By: Alex Gibbs

This weekend, to accommodate for COVID, pro-life leaders across the state held revamped rallies for the annual ‘Texas Rally for Life’ in various cities including Waco.

Even during a pandemic, John Pisciotta and dozens won’t give up the fight against abortion and Planned Parenthood.

By: Alex Briseno

The executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life, Joe Pojman, said Republicans’ success in November should embolden abortion opponents heading into the legislative session that began Tuesday.

“The blue wave, funded by millions of dollars, came into Texas, crashed on the rocks and went nowhere,” Pojman said. “I think Republicans have every right to feel emboldened to continue to advance a reasonable but a conservative agenda.”

He added, “The seas are much flatter and less turbulent now for leadership in the House and Senate than two years ago.”

Courtney Chambers, Texas advocacy director for Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, said the pandemic makes access to abortion especially important this session.

“Lawmakers should really be focusing on ensuring expanded access to health care, making sure people have everything they need and not spending time on restricting access and restricting abortion care,” Chambers said. “Now is not the time, during a pandemic, to focus on having less access to health care.”

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the third high court pick of Trump’s presidency, was confirmed on Oct. 26, the week before Election Day.

Democrats opposed the timing of the nomination, citing 2016, when the Republican-led Senate shut out President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, almost eight months before the elections. The Senate confirmed Barrett on a 52-48 vote, sliding the Supreme Court to the right and giving abortion opponents hope that the court will chip away at abortion rights.

Pojman said one of Alliance for Life’s priorities is passage of the Human Life Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion beginning at fertilization if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

He also said his group is closely watching Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that could allow the high court to review Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which failed to go into effect in 2018 when a federal appeals court ruled it unconstitutional.

If the Supreme Court takes the case, Pojman said, Texas needs to have a new law ready to go into effect when the court rules.

“They may allow states to ban abortions at 15 weeks, they may change the precedent in other ways; we have no way to know,” Pojman said. “We have realized that we have to be very patient. Our hopes have been dashed many, many times in the past, but there’s a possibility.”

By: Meghan Friedmann

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott “issued an order that said all non-essential health care providers had to stop provision of care,” Mariappuram said, adding that state Attorney General Ken Paxton announced soon after that abortion services were included in that category.

Requests for comment placed with the communications offices for Abbott and Paxton were not returned.

However, Joe Pojman, executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life, defended the order.

“It was not targeted to abortion, and it was not a ban. It was a postponement for at most one month,” Pojman said. “We thought that the abortion providers needed to postpone those non-emergency procedures, just like everyone else.”

When the order was issued, according to Pojman, the state did not know how bad the pandemic would get and wanted to conserve personal protective equipment.

He also noted the courts upheld the restriction.

By: Maria Mendez

Meanwhile, anti-abortion groups say state leaders, who are beginning to reopen the economy, had a legitimate interest in protecting public health.

“We’re really grateful to the governor for issuing these executive orders that have been intended to protect the public and the medical providers serving the public,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of the Texas Alliance For Life.

By: Catholic News Agency

In an April 24 video, Texas Alliance for Life director Joe Pojman praised the ay on elective surgeries as “decisive action” to ay the spread of the coronavirus and part of “a strategy that has worked.”

Pojman cited Texas’ relatively low COVID-19 rates compared to large states and its hospitals’ continued capacity to treat patients.

As of Friday afternoon, there were over 22,800 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Texas, including over 590 deaths. About 9,000 people are estimated to have recovered, statistics from the Texas Department of Health said.

“We believe Gov. Abbott’s actions have protected the public and especially health care workers from the coronavirus,” Pojman said. He stressed the importance of Fifth Circuit Court’s order to “ay all abortions, surgical and drug induced, except for the handful that would not be possible to ay.”

“Meanwhile many abortion providers appeared to violate that order and performed a number of abortions across Texas, when those should have been ayed,” Pojman added. “We are addressing that issue now.”