Human resources

I fought for a pro-life Texas and resources for women

In a few weeks, the Supreme Court will issue a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Court will decide whether the Constitution prevents states from protecting unborn babies from abortion before the developing child has reached the point of viability. The Supreme Court defines viability as the extent to which the baby can continue to live after birth, even with medical assistance. This case may alter or even overturn the infamous Roe v. Wade from 1973.

This decision, which is terribly unfair to the organization I lead – the Texas Alliance for Life – ties the hands of state legislatures. While states can ban abortion after viability, the Supreme Court prohibits states from banning abortion before viability when the vast majority of abortions occur. In Roe’s wake, more than 62 million unborn children lost their lives to abortion, a staggering number.

Regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision, Texans — especially women of childbearing age and women with unplanned pregnancies — should be aware of the vast resources available to protect unborn children and their mothers.

If the Supreme Court significantly alters or even overturns Roe, several measures passed by the Texas Legislature and signed by Governor Greg Abbott will become particularly significant.

First, the Human Life Protection Act, House Bill 1280, will protect unborn babies from abortion after viability and – to the extent permitted by the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs – before viability, upon design. Some call it the “trigger” law because its effective date is triggered by Supreme Court action.

The second measure is Senate Bill 1, the Omnibus Appropriations Act, which contains numerous provisions aimed at providing substantial assistance to women, especially low-income women with unplanned pregnancies. Hundreds of thousands of women receive support through these services each year and will continue to do so after the Supreme Court rules in the Dobbs case.

The legislature has earmarked $100 million, a 25% increase, for the current two-year budget for the highly successful abortion alternatives program. This program provides services to women facing unplanned pregnancies to help them carry the baby to term, deliver the baby, and keep or place the baby for adoption. Help is available for at least three years after the birth. The main contractor, Texas Pregnancy Care Network, operates a website directing customers to nearly 200 pregnancy centers, maternity homes and adoption agencies across the state. The program serves 125,000 customers each year, well above the 55,000 in Texas in 2020.

Hundreds of other privately funded centers and religious programs offer similar services throughout Texas.

Care for women at these centers includes confirmation of pregnancy, counselling, moral support and services to free women from sex trafficking, domestic violence or drug addiction. The centers also provide maternity and baby clothes and diapers to clients. Budgeting, parenting and pregnancy courses, job training and referrals to other government agencies are also available.

Medicaid Perinatal and Childbirth Care: For uninsured pregnant women whose incomes are up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, the state’s Medicaid program pays for prenatal, delivery, and follow-up care for mothers for six months and babies for 12 month.

The Texas Medicaid program pays for more than half of births in Texas, costing nearly $1.2 billion a year. The Children’s Health Insurance Program spends $135 million a year on perinatal care for unborn children.

Women’s Health Program: The Legislature continued to fund various free programs for low-income women, allocating $352 million over two years for breast and cervical cancer screening, family planning, pregnancy tests, pelvic floor, sexually transmitted infection services, screening and treatment for cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension. arterial pressure. The website lists thousands of providers.

Critics of the state’s efforts may point to flawed and discredited data to claim that Texas has terrible maternal mortality rates. However, more rigorous research found that Texas’s rates are much lower than erroneously claimed and are comparable to most other states. Certainly, the concern remains, but we believe that problems such as maternal health, poverty, education and many others, serious as they are, can be solved without sacrificing the lives of thousands of innocent people to born every year.

The essential : Texas’ track record of supporting Texas women and families by providing extensive resources to women facing unplanned pregnancies and their children before, during and after birth – a record we can be proud of – will continue regardless of what the Supreme Court does.

Dr. Joe Pojman is the founder and executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, a nonpartisan, nonsectarian, pro-life organization committed to protecting innocent human beings from conception until natural death.


The Roe vs. Wade Bomb