By: Corey Olson

One year after Texas banned most abortions in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the state could bankrupt the largest abortion provider. Texas is suing Planned Parenthood for millions in Medicaid charges rung up after the organization was booted off of Medicaid. “Planned Parenthood was caught in an undercover operation a few years ago harvesting and selling body parts from babies that were aborted at their facilities,” says Dr. Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. “They were eliminated from the state Medicaid program because they were engaged in fraud—selling the body parts.”

Planned Parenthood challenged their removal from Medicaid in court, but continued to bill the program while the case played out. Ultimately, the courts sided with Texas, but not before Planned Parenthood had charged some $17 million to the program. “They were fraudulently billing the state of Texas, milking them out of money for our tax dollars,” says Pojman. “The state of Texas deserves that back with penalties. This is according to federal law and state law.”

“Simply put, Planned Parenthood does not deserve that money, the state of Texas should get it back.”

In addition to the $17 million in actual Medicaid charges, Texas is seeking more than $1 billion in penalties, fines and punitive damages. A federal judge in North Texas heard arguments in the case last week. If the state wins the case, the future of Planned Parenthood in Texas is uncertain.

“We don’t know if the national office will try and keep Planned Parenthood alive, or whether the three affiliates in Texas will end up closing,” says Pojman. “At this point, we just don’t know.”

By: Elise Catrion Gregg

But in an August 2022 letter to the Texas Medical Board, he said he was aware of complaints that hospitals “may be wrongfully prohibiting or seriously delaying” life-saving care to patients with pregnancy complications. He pointed to “confusion or disregard” of state laws allowing for abortion in medical emergencies, and said the issues must be corrected.

Amy O’Donnell, spokeswoman for the anti-abortion Texas Alliance for Life, said that clarification needs to come from the Texas Medical Board – not the Legislature.

“For any physicians who are perhaps … confused on our clear pro-life laws, I would just encourage them to also reach out and see if they can get that clarification,” she said.

By: Allie Kelly

Attorney General Ken Paxton and Texas Medical Board Executive Director Stephen Brint Carlton are named defendants in the case. The offices of Paxton and Brint Carlton did not respond to a request for comment.

Paxton has previously said he will continue to defend “the pro-life laws of Texas and the lives of all unborn children.”

The Texas Alliance for Life, a statewide anti-abortion organization, responded to the Zurawski case when it was filed in March via a public statement.
The organization said Texas law is “carefully crafted” to allow doctors to treat pregnant people with life-threatening conditions without risk of criminal or civil liability.

“Texas Alliance for Life supports clarification of the medical emergency exception language within Texas’ pro-life laws,” the Alliance for Life said in the statement. “That clarification needs to come in the same way doctors are educated about other legislation affecting their practice in Texas.”

By: Rosie Nguyen

“I can’t help but reflect with joy on this decision that allowed Texas to protect life beginning at conception. Outside of emergency medical exceptions, the number of abortions in Texas has dropped down to zero. We absolutely believe that it’s saving lives. We celebrate every life that has been saved in Texas as a result of our pro-life laws,” Amy O’Donnell, communications director at Texas Alliance for Life, said.

She said her organization works with pregnancy centers across the state that provide support and assistance for women who choose to move forward with their pregnancy and give birth to their children.

“One thing we have worked on, which is really no different than what we’ve focused on in the past, is to educate Texans about the vast resources that Texas offers women. There’s resources to specifically help low-income women and women facing unplanned pregnancies,” O’Donnell, said. “We believe in the value of protecting lives conceived even in rape or babies diagnosed with disabilities in their mother’s wombs.”

O’Donnell believes the language in the Human Life Protection Act is clear when it comes to the exceptions that can be made for abortions, but acknowledges there could be more clarification on the law.

By: GILBERT GARCIA

Let’s put aside, for a moment, the fact that most of Prop A is likely to be disregarded by our municipal government if it passes, because City Attorney Andy Segovia says the justice-director provision is the only piece of it that doesn’t violate state law.

Let’s also put aside, for a moment, the fact that if Prop A passes, its abortion-decriminalization provision will be challenged in court by Texas Alliance for Life, an Austin-based anti-abortion group.

Let’s pretend that voters approve Prop A and the city actually implements it. What would that mean for San Antonians? In truth, much would remain the same.

No one is currently getting arrested in this city for providing or receiving an abortion. That wouldn’t change.