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: 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.

By: JADEN EDISON

Anti-abortion advocates acknowledge those issues in their comments after the ruling.

“Now the pro-life movement can expend even greater resources toward providing compassionate alternatives to abortion for women with unplanned pregnancies,” the Texas Alliance for Life said in a statement. “Our goal continues to be to build a society where abortion is unthinkable, and women with unplanned pregnancies take full advantage of the vast resources available to them.”

By: Jennifer Sanders

Katherine Long says the protest was personal for her. She had an abortion at age 22 and wants other women to be able to make that same decision if they want.

“Who wants an unwanted pregnancy?” Long said. “No child wants to be born unwanted.”

Texas Alliance for Life has a differing opinion. In a statement, the organization said “We are ecstatic. The Supreme Court finally remedied a terrible decision made nearly half a century ago that profoundly damaged society in America.

Legal abortions have claimed the lives of more than 62 million unborn children and have hurt countless women. That will no longer be the case in Texas. Roe’s unsound and ultimately indefensible reasoning cost the trust of millions of Americans in the Supreme Court. This decision begins to restore confidence in the Supreme Court and its application of constitutional principles.”

By: KHOU 11 Staff

Many hope things don’t stop here and the state makes sure laws are fully enforced. Many also hope that abortion alternative programs are expanded at hundreds of help centers across the state.

“We know that these pregnancy centers have compassionately trained staff and volunteers who are ready to stand with you, walk out pregnancy with you, support you as you have your baby and either choose to keep it – and in this case they’ll assist with your needs up to three years after birth – as well for the consideration of placement for adoption,” said Amy O’Donnell with Texas Alliance For Life.

The Texas Health and Human Services Department has an entire website dedicated to the Alternatives to Abortion Program, which features contact information for contracted service providers.