By: Rebekah Alvey

Anti-abortion rights candidates kept control in most Nov. 8 races across the state. Republicans maintained their strong majority in the Legislature, top statewide offices remained red and the Texas delegation in the U.S. House saw all Republican incumbents and some newcomers in the GOP win.

“It shows that the pro-life message works in Texas,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. “It shows that Texas remains a pro-life state.”

Pojman said his organization was pleased with the results of the U.S. House races, and was glad to see at least one of the three anti-abortion South Texas candidates win. He added the results both for the U.S. House and state Legislature races indicate the Rio Grande Valley area appears to be an area of expansion for the anti-abortion movement.

There were some victories among candidates supporting abortion rights as 51 of those endorsed by Planned Parenthood Texas Votes won their races.

By: CHARLOTTE SCOTT

As written, the bill would not require a pregnant person to file a police report or provide forensic evidence. Alvarado said it’s because many women don’t report abuse in the first place. But since no record would be required to obtain an abortion, anti-abortion advocates see this as a way to create a loophole so any woman could have the procedure.

“Women could claim rape or assault or incest where, in fact, that has not happened. And it creates a potential loophole in an exception that we don’t support that would allow women to lie to receive abortions. We would hope that no woman would do that, but it does leave that door open,” said Amy O’Donnell, the director of communications for Texas Alliance for Life.

Seth Chandler, a law professor at the University of Houston, said this is where the legal waters get murky.

nti-abortion advocates don’t want to see a sexual assault exemption added to the abortion law.

“We believe that it’s wrong to discriminate against anyone based on how they came into being. And even with that beginning story, that child is still deserving of life, and so we will not support that,” O’Donnell said.

Even though most abortions are illegal in Texas, Hagstrom Miller stressed that there’s still a big need for it.

“Just because you ban abortion, it doesn’t change the need for abortion,” she said. “An abortion ban doesn’t prevent people from still needing abortions in the state of Texas. It just prevents people from getting that care from trained medical professionals. And I think that’s what we have to remember as we try to assist people in our communities that really need access to the safe, essential medical care that is abortion.”

Some Republicans have said there might need to be an exception to the abortion law for sexual assault, but it’s unlikely that abortion will become legal again next year.

By: Peter Holley

Amy O’Donnell, a spokesperson for Texas Alliance for Life, another advocacy group that opposes abortion rights, pointed to the state’s existing health and safety code, in which ectopic pregnancies, pregnancies in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, and miscarriages are not considered abortions. In other scenarios in which a pregnant patient’s life or health are at risk, O’Donnell and other like-minded activists say doctors can perform what they call a “separation” of an unborn child from its mother—terminology echoed in a fact sheet produced by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a right-to-life organization based in Washington, D.C., that advocates for the idea that human life begins at conception. Like other anti-abortion advocates, O’Donnell argues that Roe’s reversal does not cause undue risk to pregnant women because the health conditions that would require abortion as a means of saving their lives or their long-term health are “very rare in modern science.” When those conditions do arise, she said, medical exceptions in the law adequately address those cases. “When a pregnant mother faces a life-threatening situation, an induced abortion that aims to kill the child is not the answer,” she said. “There are many ways to deal with this situation that do not seek to take the life of the child.”

By: David Montgomery

Joe Pojman, a former aerospace engineer who is now executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, said the law “would completely protect unborn children from abortion beginning at conception.

“That would be the fulfillment of our dreams and goals for the last 50 years.”

But Cain and Capriglione, along with anti-abortion leaders like Pojman, emphatically dismiss the possibility of prosecuting women who get abortions, saying the criminal offenses should apply only to doctors and others who perform the procedure.

Texas’ pre-Roe abortion statute, which originated in 1854, “never even contemplated making … any penalties for the woman who has the abortion,” Capriglione said, “and my bill doesn’t either.”

By: Rissa Shaw

“In those extremely rare cases where pregnancy may endanger a woman’s life or cause severe risk of impairment of a major bodily function, that exception is the same exception, language-wise, as in the law that was passed in 2013 to protect unborn babies from abortion beginning at 20 weeks, so this is language that has been in statues in Texas for almost ten years,” said Amy O’Donnell, Communications Director for Texas Alliance For Life. “But apparently there does appear to be a need for clarification because some doctor’s aren’t aware that treatment for ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage is not considered abortion, it’s not prohibited by our pro-life laws including the Human Life Protection Act, and when the mother’s life is in danger, our laws very clearly state they are allowed to intervene in those situations–not to cause the death of the unborn child, but to protect the life of the mother.”

Although she says the legislation is already clear, she says her non-profit would support lawmakers in providing additional clarification if they see fit.

“Words matter, and the words clearly spell out that these stories that we’re seeing in Texas about ectopic pregnancy treatments not being available or miscarriage treatments not being available or life of the mother—the law clearly spells out that all of those treatments are available and acceptable in Texas law, they are not considered abortion in any way, shape, or form,” said O’Donnell. “If you encounter a doctor who is not aware of what Texas laws really state, and because of that don’t provide good medical care, you need to run far and fast.”

However, in campaign ads, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke has been using healthcare professionals and women who say the life of the mother is not being protected.

By: Julie Mcmahon

Sky News also spoke to pro-life group Texas Alliance for Life, who say it’s the doctors’ fault that they don’t understand the state’s law.

Roe v Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court earlier this year, leaving it to the states to decide whether to legalise abortion or to ban it.

Texas was one of the states that shut its abortion clinics following the Supreme Court’s decision and has banned it in all circumstances unless the mother’s life is in danger.

The US midterm elections are just over a week away, and the Democrats are attempting to swing voters in Republican states by promising the restoration of abortion rights. Sky News Australia has spoken to a Texas couple – Amanda and Josh Zurawski – who couldn’t get an abortion until it was almost too late. Sky News also spoke to pro-life group Texas Alliance for Life, who say it’s the doctors’ fault that they don’t understand the state’s law. Roe v Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court earlier this year, leaving it to the states to decide whether to legalise abortion or to ban it. Texas was one of the states that shut its abortion clinics following the Supreme Court’s decision and has banned it in all circumstances unless the mother’s life is in danger.