Updated: Jul 27, 2022
After 50 years of tireless advocacy for life, a decisive moment took place. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned Roe v. Wade and “reinstated the right of states to protect innocent, unborn children,” as Gov. Greg Abbott put it in a statement on the landmark decision.
Writing for the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, Justice Samuel Alito noted:
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences… It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
According to the Associated Press and NBCDFW, Texas has a trigger law that will ban all abortions, with some exceptions to save the life of the mother. In a July 26th advisory opinion, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton noted that the trigger ban is slated to go into effect on August 25th, 2022. The SCOTUS judgment for Dobbs v. Jackson was released on July 25th, 2022, as Attorney General Paxton noted.
Currently under the Heartbeat Law, Texas bans abortions starting at about six weeks.
According to Kyleen Wright, President of the Texans for Life Coalition, in Texas “the trigger ban will take that all the way to conception, and neighboring states (where women have been obtaining abortions the past 9 months) also have trigger bans. So, more women will be seeking help, and fewer will be traveling the longer distances to states that will still be offering abortion.”
Allocating Resources to Support Women's Healthcare and Mothers in Need
Gov. Abbott spoke of the preparation that has been made for helping women. “We have taken significant action to protect the sanctity of life. Texas has also prioritized supporting women's healthcare and expectant mothers in need to give them the necessary resources so that they can choose life for their child,” his office noted.
That includes state public investments in women’s health coverage and support of mothers in need. Gov. Abbott “signed laws that extended Medicaid health care coverage to six months post-partum, appropriated $345 million for women's health programs, and invested more than $100 million toward our Alternatives to Abortion program. This critical program provides counseling, mentoring, care coordination, and material assistance, such as car seats, diapers, and housing to mothers in need.”
The governor also pledged to keep working with state lawmakers to help expectant mothers in need.
What challenges might lie ahead, now that Roe v. Wade will be overturned? According to Kyleen, “It is difficult to quantify the additional women who will seek help in Texas, because reporting from other states about Texas women obtaining abortions there is slow, spotty, and voluntary. All we have is anecdotal information. Abortion clinics report 85% drop in business, but state reporting shows closer to half as many abortions still occurring in Texas.
Pregnancy centers have already had to adjust to the Heartbeat Act and continue to project and add capacity since Roe v. Wade will be overturned.”
Political stakeholders in the pro-life effort, particularly elected officials, have been coming under increased pressure from abortion activists and other political antagonists. Kyleen reinforced the importance of staying civically engaged and continuing to hold the line.
“We need to work hard to turn out the vote for our pro-life elected officials," she explained. “Abortion advocates will be working hard to unseat our pro-life elected officials, and we must ensure that the life issue continues to be a winning position for our candidates.”
"We need to work hard to turn out the vote for our pro-life elected officials. Abortion advocates will be working hard to unseat our pro-life elected officials, and we must ensure that the life issue continues to be a winning position for our candidates."
Indeed, with everything coming down the line with Roe v. Wade being overturned, now isn't the time to take the foot off the gas pedal. In many respects, it's actually the beginning of the road.
Kyleen said, “Our work is only just beginning as we anticipate far more moms and babies needing our assistance, while the whole world is watching Texas. This is our time to shine, not quit or become complacent. Also, abortion advocates will fight to weaken our laws, so vigilance will be needed to protect our pro-life laws.”
“That laws only exist with the will of the people,” she continued. “If we fail women, we will lose support for our laws protecting unborn babies, it’s as simple as that.”