By: Brandon Mulder

Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for life — which is backing a proposal to ban abortion beginning at fertilization (Texas law bans abortions after 20 weeks) — argues that Planned Parenthood places women on a pathway that, for many, ultimately leads to abortion.

Although “it’s difficult to make a causal relationship,” Pojman argues that many women seeking pregnancy-related services at Planned Parenthood are ultimately getting referred to Planned Parenthood abortion facilities.

“There’s definitely referrals going on,” he said. “That’s certainly part of Planned Parenthood’s practices — is to refer women for abortions.”

And women who are seeking non-pregnancy related health services build a “client relationship” with Planned Parenthood. Then, if those women later become pregnant, Pojman said, “they know who to call.”

“A woman searching for breast or cervical cancer screening or high blood pressure screening, if they do a pregnancy test on her and she’s positive, then they’d do a referral to their abortion facility,” he said.

However, because medical referral information is protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Pojman said he hasn’t seen any records showing this connection.

“It’s reasonable to believe that fewer women going to Planned Parenthood facilities for any reason will likely result in fewer abortions,” he said.

Planned Parenthood spesperson Sarah Wheat says that none of these claims have factual basis. A standard component of family planning services is providing nondirective pregnancy counseling, Wheat said. All patients are informed of all of their legal and medical options.

“Providing patients with referrals for all of their medical options is not unique to Planned Parenthood,” Wheat said.

Further, Pojman’s argument ignores the fact that many women rely on Planned Parenthood to obtain contraception and avoid unwanted pregnancies, said Aiken. According to Planned Parenthood’s own data, 82,400 Texas women received birth control through Planned Parenthood last year.

Abortion referrals “seems to be exactly what would be precipitated by kicking Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid,” Aiken said. “If there are no Medicaid funds to help low-income patients get contraception, I would imagine that abortion referrals would be necessary precisely because of the lack of funding.”

Healthy Texas Women
Pojman said Texas’ own family planning services program could easily absorb the 8,800 Planned Parenthood Medicaid patients.

Created by the Legislature, Healthy Texas Women launched in 2016 to provide family planning and health care services to low-income women. It served 173,000 women in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available.

By: Maria Mendez

The anti-abortion group Texas Alliance For Life praised the court’s ruling and said it would continue working with the state to monitor the compliance from abortion providers.

“We are very pleased with the decision of the 5th Circuit to allow Governor Abbott’s order to stand as applicable to abortion facilities just as it stands for other medical facilities,” Joe Pojman, Texas Alliance for Life’s executive director, said in a statement. “Clearly the crisis in Texas and across the nation calls for measures to conserve the personal protective equipment needed by doctors and nurses fighting coronavirus on the front s.”

By: Tessa Weinberg

The anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life also tweeted Sunday that the executive order applies to abortions.

Under the executive order meant to increase hospital capacity to combat the novel coronavirus’ spread, physicians will have the discretion to suspend procedures that aren’t immediately medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient, Abbott said Sunday.

By: Samantha Gobba

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.”

By: Morgan Smith

Texas lawmakers have made the state “a national leader in defending innocent life,” Republican Gov. Greg Abbott told the crowd at an Austin anti-abortion rally Saturday.

“Because of you there is now an entire generation of women who see a sonogram as their baby’s first picture,” said Abbott, referencing a state law passed in 2011. He spe on the south steps of the Texas Capitol.

The Rally for Life was organized by a coalition of anti-abortion and religious groups, including Texas Alliance for Life and the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. The march marked the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

Attendees gathered for a fair downtown and then marched to the Capitol, where state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, and state Rep. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale, also addressed the crowd.

By: Madlin Mackelburg

AUSTIN – Anti-abortion advocates in Texas got nearly everything on their wish list this year as Republican leaders feuded over bathroom use and other issues geared at shoring up conservative bonafides.

Three of the twelve bills that passed during the special legislative session enacted regulations targeting abortion — amplifying the success anti-abortion advocates saw in the regular session when lawmakers adopted a sweeping proposal banning multiple procedures and further regulating providers.