Haynes announced she would be running earlier this year, challenging long-time incumbent John Smithee (R-Amarillo). Smithee has been in office since 1984. His current reelection bid has earned the backing of Governor Greg Abbott, Attorney Ken Paxton, Texas Right to Life, and Texas Alliance for Life. Smithee broke with other lawmakers in Austin to be one of the few who did not vote to impeach Paxton or to remove vouchers from an education reform bill.
Deirdre Cooper, a public policy analyst for Texas Alliance for Life, gave a statement about her son Bosco, who died before birth from Trisomy 18, known as Edwards syndrome. “Carrying Bosco in my womb was the greatest honor of my life,” she said. “For four months, I had the privilege of sharing his story with anyone who asked about my pregnancy. Each day, I woke up thanking God that Bosco was still alive. We had been granted one more day with him — what a blessing! It also allowed us to plan his funeral and prepare our children for his impending death.”
Texas Alliance for Life submitted an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief on behalf of 92 members of the Texas Legislature, making the point that nowhere in the state constitution is there a right to abortion.
The Court is expected to issue a decision in the coming months.
Texas Alliance for Life, which was directly involved in the legislation around abortion laws in Texas says their stance on the law is on ethical concerns — and worries that a special interest group is trying to circumvent legislation passed by elected representatives through the courts.
Mental health for women can be directly impacted by childbirth — most famously through postpartum depression. It can happen to any woman — even after a miscarriage or stillbirth. Research from the National Institutes of Health show that as many as 20% of mothers can experience postpartum symptoms.
Deirdre Cooper, a public policy analyst for Texas Alliance for Life, holds one of her daughters as she shares her experiences with pregnancy complications and her support for the state’s abortion laws on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, in Austin, Texas, after attending the Texas Supreme Court’s hearing on the Zurawski v Texas case. Cooper shared that her son Bosco, one of her 10 children, was diagnosed with Edwards syndrome, a severe chromosomal abnormality, and died in childbirth in April 2021.
Groups, including Texas Alliance for Life, argue these laws are clear and a lawsuit like this is to open the pathway for more and more abortions to be allowed.
“The lawsuit seeks to significantly expand the reasons to allow abortions in our state, putting the lives of thousands of unborn babies in Texas at risk every year,” said Amy O’Donnell with the organization. “The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights is seeking to expand abortion access in Texas at the expense of unborn babies lives, while using the stories of women who tragically lost their babies due to either doctors being confused about the clarity that exists in the medical language in Texas pro-life laws, or due to fatal diagnoses for unborn babies.”
The hearing on Tuesday was just in regard to the injunction set in place by Judge Mangrum that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed. There isn’t expected to be a ruling on this until a couple months into next year.