At the January 28, 2017, Texas Rally for Life, here is my speech to an estimated crowd of 5,000 people from across the state.
This has got to be one of the best pro-life crowds ever at the Texas Rally for Life. Thank you for being here.
In case you were wondering, I’m not a millennial, Jillian [Ferguson of Students for Life of America] is a millennial. I was born in the last millenium.
My name is Joe Pojman, [my organization is] one of the host committee members for this Rally.
I wish to recognize the 44 other organizations who are part of the Host Committee. Could you please stand?
I and many of us have been working here in the state Capitol, frankly, for decades to protect innocent unborn babies.
There is enormous fruit from our work — and not just ours — but the work of hundreds of pro-life groups across the state.
You need to know that for the last six years the Texas Legislature — meeting right here in the Capitol — have made enormous gains.
- The sonogram bill
- The Choose Life license plate
- Protecting women from human trafficking at abortion facilities
- Banning late abortions
- Increasing abortion facility standards
- Cutting $30 million per year at Planned Parenthood and sending that to other [ ] organizations that do a much better job.
Dozens of abortion facilities have closed in Texas since 2011, because of defunding of Planned Parenthood and the partial implementation of HB 2, which we all worked so hard here to pass and defend.
The latest numbers show it: abortions in Texas are in steep decline. Between 2013 and 2014 the number of abortions have dropped by nearly 9,000! A 9,000 drop in one year!
Can you believe Planned Parenthood thinks there’s something wrong with that?
However, we have suffered a huge setback. Last June, the Supreme Court, in a 5-3 decision, struck down the two challenged provisions of House Bill 2 that increased safety standards at Texas’ abortion facilities.
That decision is called Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Whole Woman’s Health runs a chain of abortion facilities in Texas.
The Supreme Court says the state may NOT require abortion doctors to have privileges to practice medicine at local hospitals, and the State of Texas may NOT require abortion facilities to raise their safety standards to the level of ambulatory surgical centers, despite the fact that both are the standard of care for facilities that provide comparable procedures — colonoscopy, dilation and curettage after a miscarriage, and even cataract removal.
Furthermore, the Court reversed previous abortion precedent to deliberately makes it harder for states like Texas to pass safety regulations and, indeed, any abortion restrictions, without being struck down.
This is indeed a grave setback. Many, many more women will continue to be harmed in Texas and across the nation as a result.
The Supreme Court does not allow states to ban abortion before the unborn baby is viable, arbitrary, but that’s the terrible reality.
As we know, all too well, we have suffered setbacks before, am I right?
The worst setback was 44 years ago, Roe v. Wade, in which the Court totally struck down Texas’ law – on the books for more than one hundred years — that protected unborn babies from abortion — in 1973.
We have always turned setbacks into comebacks. We have always grown as a movement in strength, numbers, and resolve.
Our example is Sam Houston, the general of the Texas Army. Remember, when the Alamo fell in 1836 and the brave men inside were butchered and their bodies burned, did General Houston give up? Was he reckless?
No. He was strategic.
He moved his small, fledgling army east. He found the right ground. He attacked! The battle lasted 18 minutes. And the battle cry was “Remember the Alamo.”
We will remember this setback and other setbacks. We will grow. We will become stronger.
The Texas Legislature has begun meeting in the Capitol before you. You must tell your elected official that Texas is pro-life!
The court will not allow the Texas legislature to ban most abortions, but here are some things we can do:
- Pass every piece of pro-life Governor Greg Abbott’s LIFE Initiative, including:
- Ban the hideous partial-birth abortion method.
- Ban the donation or sale of tissues and organs from the babies who die from abortion.
- Ban inhumane methods of disposition of their previous bodies.
No more grinding and flushing into a city sewer system.
No more depositing the remains in a landfill after incineration.
No more treating those precious babies like mere medical waste. No more.
- Entirely defund Planned Parenthood. No more tax dollars for Planned Parenthood.
- And just as important, promote compassionate alternatives to abortion, including the loving option of adoption.
We have a moral obligation to the mothers and the unborn babies. We must be victorious! Reckless actions save no lives. Just as Sam Houston taught us, sometimes a frontal attack sets us back. We will pick our ground. And then victory for the babies and their mothers will be won.