Protesters Attack Pro-Life Conference

Protesters stormed into the Austin Marriott South, where the Texas Right to Life’s annual Boots on the Ground Conference was being held. Texas Right to Life is non-profit advocacy and educational organization that opposes abortion, and its annual conference educates pro-life Texans and college students about various aspects of the pro-life movement such as abortion, medical ethics, and how to build a diverse pro-life community..

Texas Right to Life held its Boots on the Ground Conference on the same weekend as the Rally for Life at the State Capitol. This year marked the 49th anniversary of the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade. The conference hosted numerous speakers who spoke about topics including abortion, human trafficing, and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Attendees were there to get trained in the Pro-Life movement and energized for the rally, but they would find that those on the other side of the abortion have been energized as well. 

Protestors entered the hotel lobby just before noon, shouting, “Working women, give them hell; it is right to rebel. We will defend abortion rights; working women, rise and fight!”

The dozen protesters carried a sign reading: “Working women lead the fight; safe abortions are our right!”

One woman lit a smoke bomb and threw it down the hallway towards the rooms holding the conference. Outside, a portion of hotel property was vandalized by the protesters as well. Luckily no one was injured on either side. Austin Police Department responded quickly to the protest, but there were no additional problems after the attack on Saturday, and no arrests have been made yet. 

This is not the first protest at a Texas Right to Life event. In 2017, communist protesters attempted to disrupt a Texas Right to Life event, but they did not physically attack attendees like they did on this occasion. 

The attack happened as thousands of Texans were marching in support of life at the State Capitol and in celebration of the victory that the Texas Heartbeat Act has been for the pro-life cause. Texas Right to Life spearheaded the effort to pass the Texas Heartbeat Act. 

The Texas Heartbeat Act has angered many abortion advocates. It bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected in the unborn child and thus prevents many abortions in Texas from legally occurring. Since it came into effect on Sept. 1, despite numerous failed attempts to have it struck down or enjoined, the Texas Heartbeat Act has saved an estimated 10,000-13,000 lives, according to Texas Right to Life. Already states like Alabama, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio are working to replicate the Texas Heartbeat Act. 

Footage taken by Texas Right to Life and used in this article with the organization’s permission.

Texas Heartbeat Bill Is Here to Stay

In a victory for Pro-Life groups, the Supreme Court of the United States did not strike down Texas’ Heartbeat Act (SB 8) last week. The law limits abortions to before the first heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks. While the law allows for abortion in cases when the mother’s life is in danger, it bans nearly all abortions, since 85-90% of abortions in Texas happen after the sixth week of pregnancy.

13 other states have tried to pass similar laws, but all were struck down. The new Texas law is unique because instead of putting the enforcement mechanism in the hands of the state, it instead hands it to private citizens. Anyone can now sue abortition providers if they perform an aborition after a heartbeat is detected. The woman who elects abortion is never under the danger of a lawsuit, only the abortion provider, as the law states “this … may not be construed to authorize the initiation of a cause of action against or the prosecution of a woman on whom an abortion is performed.”

The vote in the Supreme Court was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice Roberts joining the court’s three liberal members in dissent. The majority opinion was unsigned, and stated that an injunction would not be issued for the law due to the abortion providers who challenged the law not answering the “complex and novel antecedent procedural questions” the law raised. The majority states that their decision “is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law.”

Each dissenting justice filed his or her own opinion, either asking for a return to status quo ante (before the law went into effect) and to kick it back down to the lower courts to decide in the case of Roberts, or rejecting the majority’s view on the germaness of the unique procedural mechanism in the law. 

In Texas SB 8 has already caused a reaction from abortion providers. Three of the four major aborbition clinics in San Antonio have ceased providing aborbitions, and across the state others are following suit rather than risk lawsuits. 

The Court’s decision will likely lead other Republican-controlled states to try to pass similar laws, though the Biden Administration is trying to make sure that doesn’t happen. President Biden called the law an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights,” and that the decision required an “immediate response.” The Justice Department launched a lawsuit against Texas on Thurs.,  in an attempt to try and strike down the law, but it remains to be seen how successful it will be after the Supreme Court’s first ruling. 

Pro-Life Bills in the 87th Texas Legislature

There have been several bills introduced in the 87th Texas legislature that take steps towards protecting unborn children. These bills accomplish a wide rance of things, from holding abortion providers and physicians accountable for taking advantage of women, expanding informed consent, providing personhood rights to unvorn children, and outright banning some or all abortions (these bills are specially marked with a **). Here is a comprehensive list of all the pro-life bills introduced this session.


HB 42 (Swanson) – This bill potects women from losing their health coverage if they refuse to get an abortion, regardless of whether the abortion was recommended by a physician.

** HB 44 (Swanson) – This bill creates criminal and civil penalties (2nd degree felonies for the first offense, 1st degree felony with other related offenses, and a $30,000 fee for each violation) to be brought against a physician who: 

  • aborts third-trimester unborn children,
  • performs abortions without themselves determining the post-fertilization age of the unborn child, or performs an abortion knowing that age is over 20 weeks,
  • performs partial-birth or dismemberment abortions.

Swanson’s HB 92 could create only the $30,000 fine, and her HB 2855 would create only the criminal penalty.

** HB 69 (Toth)- This bill would ban abortion after 12 weeks post-fertilization, lowering it from the 20-week ban that currently exists.

** HB 1165 (Slawson) – Known as “The Heartbeat Bill”, HB 1165 requires that physicians test for a fetal heartbeat, and prohibits the performance of abortion after a heartbeat can be detected.

HB 1171 (Sanford) – This bill would require the appointment of a willing attorney to represent an unborn child in a courtproceeding to authorize a minor to obtain an abortion.

HB 1173 (Noble et al.); SB 650 (Campbell et al.)- This bill prohibits a governmental entity from using taxpayer resources to provide logistical support to assist a woman seeking an abortion.

HB 1229 (Leman) – This bill requires that doctors that prescribe abortion-inducing drugs schedule a follow-up appointment not more than two weeks after the drug is administered. The purpose of this bill is to keep abortion doctors accountable, because they are not subject to the same scrutiny as other physicians.

** HB 1280 (Capriglione et al.); SB 9, SB 391 (Paxton et al.) – This bill prohibits the performance of abortion unless a physician, through the exercise of “reasonable medical judgement”, determines that the woman is in a life-threatening condition caused by her pregnancy, and the physician provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive. It is a 2nd degree felony, or a 1st degree felony if the child dies as a result, and a charge of $100,000 per offense.

HB 1291 (Bell, Keith); SB 573 (Springer) – This bill requires that hospitals or healthcare facilities notify each physician, nurse, and staff member that they have the right to object to direct or indirect performance of abortion, and that the hospitall or facility is prohibited from discriminating if they choose to object.

HB 1424 (Oliverson et al.) – This bill expands the rights of any hospital or healthcare facility employees to object to participating in procedures that violate their ethical, moral, or religious beliefs. This right to object would no longer be limited to just abortion.

** HB 1432 (Shaheen) – This bill would prohibit anyone from aborting an unborn child based on the race, ethnicity, or national origin of that child or woman. Physicians who violate this law would have their licenses revoked and would incur an administrative penalty.

** HB 1515 (Slawson et al.); SB 8 (Hughes et al.) – Titled the “Texas Heartbeat Act”, this lengthy bill creates the same ban as does HB 1165, after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, with several additional regulations on the abortions that remain legal. However, it also ensures that anyone aiding or abetting in the abortion faces civil liability, except for the woman on whom the abortion is performed. Notably, 50 Republicans in the House and 17 in the Senate have signed on as additional authors of co-authors of this bill.

** HB 1623 (Toth) – This bill would designate unborn children at all stages as “persons” and recognizes their unalienable rights listed in the Declaration of Independence, including the right to life.

HB 2313 (Leach); SB 802 (Paxton) – This bill requires that physicians who are going to perform an abortion on a woman must ensure that the woman recieved free pre-abortion counseling from someone who does not perform abortions. The counseling must include medically accurate information, an offer of alternative assistance, and screening for trafficking or family violence. This bill also establishes a 24-hour helpline for women seeking abortion to provide them with information about available resources.

HB 2337 (Klick); SB 394 (Lucio et al.) – This bill expands the definition of “abortion-inducing drug”, prevents the provision of those drugs via delivery service, and requres that physicians examine abortion-seeking women in person.

HB 2727 (Hefner) – This bill expands informed consent to abortion by creating a criminal offense to anyone who threatens harm to a woman in order to coerce her into abortion.

HB 2949 (King, Phil); SB 1439 (Campbell et al.) – This bill requires that any hospital employee or intern cannot be scheduled to perform or assist in an abortion unless they opt-in to do so.

HB 2976 (Cason) – This bill requires a physician who performs or induces an abortion at any point in the pregnancy to file a death certificate for the unborn child. This modifies the previous requirement that the unborn child must weigh 350 grams or be 20 weeks post-fertilization for a death certificate.

** HB 3218 (Schaefer et al.); SB 1173 (Hancock) – Known as the “Preborn Nondiscrimination Act”, This bill covers several different issues relating to abortion. It will:

  • Ensure that a pregnant woman who is told that her unborn child has a life-threatening disability is informed of available perinatal palliative care; HB 4304 (Schaefer) accomplishes this requirement
  • Prohibit all abortion in the third trimester, regardless of the viability of the child,
  • Prohibit the performance of abortion on a woman based on race, ethnicity, sex, or disability of the unborn child, or coersion into abortion based on these standards; HB 4339 (Schaefer) accomplishes this requirement 

** HB 3326 (Slaton); SB 1671 (Hall) – Known as the “Abolition of Abortion through Equal Protection for All Unborn Children Act”, this bill recognizes that from the moment of conception a child has the same rights, powers, and privileges as any other human child and fully bans abortion.

HB 3641 (Slaton) – Known as the “”Roe v. Wade Is Unconstitutional Act”, this act voids Roe v Wade and any other federal court decisions related to abortion. It finds that the US Constitution does not allow for abortion, and that Texas can make its own decisions related to abortion. 

** HB 3760 (Oliverson); SB 1647 (Perry et al.) – This bill is large in scope and accomplishes several things. First, it requires that physicians provide a greater scope of information to a pregnant woman concerning the availability of palliative care for her unborn child (HB 4304 (Schaefer) satisfies this portion). It also protects disabled children from being discriminated against and cuts off abortion at the point the child’s heartbeat can be detected.

HB 4200 (Hefner) – This bill allows home-rule municipalities to prohibit abortions.

HB 4271 (Schaefer) – This bill would prevent institutions of higher education from providing instruction on performing abortion. Those instutitions are also prohibited from assisting in litigation that would prevent the enforcement of laws relating to abortion, religious freedom, immigration, or capital punishment.

HB 4527 (King, Phil) – This bill would add one hour of instruction on the laws relating to forced abortions to the training required for police officers.

*HJR 15 (Vasut) – This resolution calls upon the US Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to prohibit abortion, euthanasia, or any other act that deprives someone of life from conception to natural death.

HJR 80 (Slawson) – This resolution proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution clarifying that the constitution cannot be interpreted to secure or protect the right to obtain an abortion or the expenditure of public money on abortion. 

HJR 113 (Cason); SJR 25 (Hall) – This resolution proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution recognizing that the right to life applies to all unborn children.

** HJR 158 (Bonnen) – This resolution proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution stating that the term “citizen” applies to all unborn children and that they are granted the right to life, prohibiting all abortion.

SB 294 (Perry et al.) – This bill requires the Department of State Health Services to report the number of abortions performed in each county.

SB 1146 (Perry et al.) – This bill requires greater reporting of abortions performed outside an abortion facility

SB 1546 (Hughes) – This bill generally strengthens abortion restrictions and regulations. It also increases the standards required for abortion facilities.

Edited on 3/24/2021. *HJR 15 would call on the US congress under article V of the constitution to overturn Roe v Wade. If this petition is joined by 34 states, the convention would be required.

Cover image taken by Rebekah Wendt at the 2020 March for Life in Austin, TX

40 Days For Life Returns to San Antonio

On Feb. 17, 2021, the 40 Days For Life Campaign will return to San Antonio. The campaign aims to end abortion in San Antonio by asking volunteers to spend an hour or two in silent prayer on the sidewalk outside of Planned Parenthoods.

On Feb. 17, 2021, the 40 Days For Life Campaign will return to San Antonio. The campaign aims to end abortion in San Antonio by asking volunteers to spend an hour or two in silent prayer on the sidewalk outside of Planned Parenthoods. 40 Days For Life starts on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent for many Christians, and they ask the whole community to join them in prayer and fasting, even while not actively on the sidewalk. 

According to Tammy Villasenor, the coordinator of the local San Antonio campaign, “40 Days for Life has made a difference here [in San Antonio]. Our volunteers have made extraordinary sacrifices to expose the abortion industry and to protect children and their mothers from abortion.” In the 40 Days For Life press release, the organization shared how much of a difference their campaigns have made in the last 14 years. The first campaign in San Antonio in 2007 saw a 40% reduction in abortions. The new Sidewalk Intern Program, implemented in 2020, provides 50 life-affirming gift bags a week to clients entering the abortion facility. In addition to this, the spring campaign for 2021 already has 596 registered volunteers contributing hundreds of hours of service. 

Cathy Nix, the program director of San Antonio’s 40 Days For Life Campaign, encourages everyone who supports the pro-life movement to volunteer just an hour of their time on the sidewalk. “Each prayer, each person matters in this fight for the protection of the unborn.  Grab a friend, set an hour, and then just go!  Imagine that there was a toddler in the street, and they were going to get hit if you didn’t step in and save them.  Your prayers and your presence save lives just as sure as this.  40 Days for Life is the most effective pro-life campaign ever.  It is peaceful, it is prayerful, and it is very successful.  We would love to see you out there as part of the solution – the beginning of the end of abortion.  Don’t be afraid!  God will truly bless your efforts,” Nix said. 

40 Days For Life is a peaceful “non-denominational initiative that focuses on 40 days of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil at abortion facilities, and grassroots educational outreach,” according to the campaign’s press release. Rather than antagonizing or harassing Planned Parenthood workers or clients, the 40 Days For Life “campaign will feature a peaceful 40-day prayer vigil in the public right-of-way outside Planned Parenthood at 2140 Babcock Rd.” To avoid confrontation and to ensure that the campaign remains as peaceful and effective as possible, “All prayer vigil participants are asked to sign a statement of peace, pledging to conduct themselves in a Christ-like manner at all times.”

However, 40 Days For Life is not the only group to lead pro-life campaigns on the sidewalk. According to Nix, “Other groups come to the sidewalk and do things differently.  40 Days for Life doesn’t own the sidewalk, so the public right of way is sometimes occupied with abortion victim signs or people with bullhorns.  This is not OUR way, but freedom of speech is a right, and it works both ways.  When faced with this challenge, we usually keep our distance and continue to do what we have come to do.” When asked about the 40 Days For Life campaign, Nix said that “Only trained Sidewalk Advocates and Interns are supposed to speak to the clients.  The Prayer Partners are silent, and they sometimes hold signs that say, ‘Pray for an end to abortion.’ This is what we do… Often when others see the effectiveness of the 40 Days for Life model, they come and join us.  It is best to lead by example.” 

“40 Days for Life has generated proven life-saving results since its beginning in 2004 in Bryan/College Station, Texas,” said Shawn Carney, president of 40 Days for Life. “During 26 previously coordinated campaigns, over 1000 communities have participated in this effort. More than 1,000,000 people—representing some 20,000 churches—have committed to pray and fast. And we know of over 17,000 unborn children whose lives were spared from abortion during 40 Days for Life campaigns.”

On Feb. 13, 2021, from 3:00-4:00 pm, 40 Days For Life is holding a socially-distanced opening rally featuring an opening and closing prayer from Bishop Emeritus Michael Pfieffer, as well as a talk from pro-life speaker Joe Calver on the “Role of Men as Pro-Life Advocates.” The rally takes place at 2202 Babcock Rd 78229. 

For information about 40 Days for Life in San Antonio, visit: http://www.40daysforlife.com/SanAntonio.

For assistance or more information, please contact Catherine Nix at cathy@sacfl.org or (210)668-1993.

Cover image taken and provided by Angelique Lopez.

Pro-Life Memorial Attacked

On Wednesday, Sep. 30, a pro-life memorial at the University of North Texas (UNT) was attacked. The memorial, composed of 1,000 pink flags and a few informational signs, was set up earlier that day by the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) to commemorate the victims of abortion. Each flag represented 60,000 lives lost to abortion since the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade.

The memorial after vandals took down the flags (photo taken by Madison Mills)

“The memorial was intended to help students understand the impact of abortion in a meaningful way,” says Kelly Neidert, chairwoman of YCT at UNT. “We were wanting to draw attention to overturning Roe v. Wade because that’s being talked about a lot in the political sphere with Amy Coney Barrett being the SCOTUS nomination.”

UNT student tweeting about plans to vandalize the memorial

Before it was even placed, UNT students who were hostile to the idea of the memorial were already threatening on social media to take it down. Many tweeted their intentions to take down the memorial in response to YCT’s announcement of their memorial a week before it was placed. “Can’t wait to spend a Wednesday night ripping out a [sic] 1000 flags” said one twitter user, with many others expressing similar sentiments. “Looks like I’ll be tearing them up,” threatened another, who also sent a direct message to Neidert encouraging her to kill herself. 

Many of these students were angry about the memorial’s pro-life message. They were also concerned that YCT was able to conduct such an activity despite UNT’s restrictions on student organizations hosting events due to COVID. YCT had direct permission from the school to place the memorial.

Soon after the memorial was placed, vandals attacked it, removing and stealing 350 of the flags as well as the display signs meant to inform UNT students about the purpose of the memorial. They also refused discussion while lobbing profanities at the YCT members who were there to witness the vandalism.

“I was appalled when I saw students planning ‘capture the flag’ games on twitter, and I honestly didn’t think they would go through with it,” says Neidert, who is a constant target of threats from students who disagree with her and with YCT. “It was so disappointing to see the vandalism and theft that occurred over such a sensitive topic.”

UNT student tweeting about plans to vandalize the memorial

One individual has been apprehended and cited for vandalism and theft. 180 of the flags have since been recovered.

Cover image taken by Madison Mills

Texas Takes a Stronger Stance Against Abortion

On June 7, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 22, the No Taxpayer Dollars to Abortion Providers Act, into law—now effective since Sept. 1. Passed by the Texas Senate Affairs Committee on March 20, SB 22 protects taxpayers from subsidizing abortion providers and prohibits “advocacy or lobbying by or on behalf of a government entity on behalf of the interests of an abortion provider or affiliate.”

This bill does not apply to state hospitals, offices of physicians that perform 50 or fewer abortions in any 12-month period, teaching hospitals of higher education institutions, and residency programs providing training to resident physicians. The new law also does not affect any federal funds like Medicaid from going to the abortion industry in Texas.

Since Abbott signed the bill into law, some have complained that SB 22 does not apply to contracts signed before Sept. 1. Contracts including a Planned Parenthood facility’s 20 year long ‘sweetheart deal’ with the city of Austin—a one dollar annual lease of a historic East Austin property to Planned Parenthood. Supporters of SB 22 advocated for the bill in hopes that Austin residents would not have to continue subsidizing the abortion provider for the rest of the duration of the sweetheart deal.

According to Texas Values, Planned Parenthood’s one-dollar-a-year lease over the 20-year span represents at least a $4 million tax break for the abortion giant, $4 million that could have gone to basic things such as public schooling and comprehensive healthcare facilities that provide services Planned Parenthood does not, such as prenatal care and mammograms. While the bill does not stop Austin residents from subsidizing the Planned Parenthood facility for the rest of the contract with Austin, it does prevent the renewal of the contract.

In response, Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza and Austin City Council Members Greg Casar, Leslie Pool, and Paige Ellis pursued to find loopholes within the newly passed law. Then, on September 10, Austin’s city council approved a budget amendment setting aside $150,000 taxpayer funds to assist women in Austin seeking abortions with related logistical costs such as transportation and lodging. This would make the Texas capital the first city in the U.S. to publicly fund logistical support for abortion care.

Austin Council Member Jimmy Flanagan, the only council member who opposed the amendment, expressed his concern that this should be a county council responsibility rather than a city budget measure. The amendment does not allow for the direct funding of abortions.

In addition, now a total of three cities in the state of Texas—Waskom, Omaha, and Naples—have declared themselves “sanctuary cities of the unborn,” outlawing abortion within their city limits.

On June 11, the city of Waskom, Texas, became the first in the nation to ban abortion”. Waskom’s city council voted to make abortion a criminal offense by way of a resolution and ordinance after Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas, presented the idea to the council. Not only was the vote unanimous, but the completely packed city hall meeting was also full of those in favor of the decision. Exceptions include rape, incest, and if the pregnancy, as certified by a physician, places the woman in danger of death or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function unless an abortion is performed.

Dickson, one of the authors of the ordinance, said to KTBS3, “This is something that has teeth that will actually allow the city of Waskom to protect [it]self from having an abortion clinic here whether that is one that comes from the North, the East, wherever — Waskom will be protected.”

The cities of Omaha and Naples followed suit on September 9, Omaha passing their ordinance unanimously and Naples with a 5-1 vote.

Mark Lee Dickson, the director of Right To Life in East Texas, told Live Action News in an email

The Mayor of Omaha had expressed some concern that, without a law preventing the opening of an abortion clinic in the City of Omaha, an abortion clinic could possibly move into the city and set up shop in an abandoned clinic. Mayor Pewitt was right for recognizing that this was an appropriate action for this city to take. 

These, along with the Born Alive Act signed into Texas law—which requires doctors to treat infants born alive in the instance of a failed abortion attempt—on May 23, have given the pro-life movement many victories in the past summer alone despite some pushback. 

Editor’s Note: Angelique Lopez is the president of Tigers for Life. Photo by Angelique Lopez.

Five Pro-Choice Arguments and How to Respond to Them

Co-written by Victoria Ydens. Photo by Angelique Lopez.

  1.  We need to make exceptions for rape-conceived fetuses.

According to the Guttmacher Institute–the research arm of Planned Parenthood)–only 1% of women who get abortions claim that they were victims of rape. Instead of punishing the baby for being conceived, we should punish the rapist for his crime. What happened to these women in the 99th percentile is undoubtedly horrible, but abortion does not undo the crime. If we want to help these women, we should not offer another act of violence as a solution. In fact, abortion in cases of rape may even slow the progress of justice. If carried to term, the baby’s DNA can help identify the rapist. 

2. Pregnancy can threaten the mother’s life.

Over 900 gynecologists and obstetricians have signed the Dublin Declaration, which claims that abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of the mother during pregnancy.  Of the 4 million women who gave birth in 2017, about 700 died due to pregnancy complications. Much of this is due to poor prenatal care or late pregnancy diagnoses. While the death of any woman in childbirth is tragic, laws should not be made for the minority of cases, but for the majority of the population. We must have compassion for women who are in difficult situations which may cause them to choose to have an abortion, and we ought to do everything in our power to help them. When there is a particular circumstance in which it truly is unavoidable for a woman to have an abortion, we must have faith that our legal system will protect her and make an exception to the rule for her circumstances.

3. Without safe and legal abortion, women will seek life-threatening alternatives.

Many have heard the statistic that 5,000 to 10,000 women died from illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade. However, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of National Alliance to Repeal Abortion Laws (today called NARAL Pro-Choice America), admitted to falsifying these statistics. He wrote in his 1979 book Aborting America, “In NARAL, we generally emphasized the frame of the individual case, not the mass statistics, but when we spoke of the latter it was always 5,000 to10,000 deaths a year. I confess that I knew the figures were totally false and I suppose that others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the ‘morality’ of our revolution, it was a useful figure… The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason that had to be done was permissible.”  Dr. Nathanson later concluded that number of maternal deaths per year to be around 500. Even Dr. Mary Caldrone, a former medical director for Planned Parenthood, claimed that “90% of all illegal abortions are presently done by physicians” in a 1960 article for the American Journal of Health. 

4. The baby will die anyways.

Some physically impaired babies have only a few days to live after birth. However, because the unborn can feel pain at 20 weeks (or even earlier), a baby will feel incredible pain while it is “terminated” during an abortion, whether it is a chemically-induced abortion or a surgical procedure. It more kind to the baby to let him or her be born and die in his or her parents’ arms, rather than to be ripped apart into tiny pieces.

5. You only care about babies before they’re born.

There are over 750 pregnancy resource centers in the United States that offer counseling, shelter for pregnant women or new mothers and their children, free sonograms and other tests, and referrals to OB/GYN doctors, all of these services often being offered for little to no cost. In San Antonio these include A Woman’s Haven, Seton Home, Guadalupe Home, and Life Choices. Even some pro-life groups on college campuses offer resources to pregnant women or new mothers and their children on their campuses such as scholarships and diaper drives for mothers in need. 

All human beings, especially innocent children, have inherent value. We are all human, and our humanity is what makes us equal to one another. Just as no race or gender is lesser than another, the unborn are just as valuable as the born.

Tigers for Life Hosts Prof. David Crockett to Discuss Natural Law and Abortion

On Thursday, April 11, at their general meeting, Tigers for Life (TFL) hosted political science professor David Crockett as a guest speaker. Crockett, the chair of the Trinity University political science department, is an expert in the American presidency and classical and conservative philosophy, including the philosophy of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and St. Augustine.

The crowd was mixed, with TFL members and visitors alike in attendance. Before he started his talk, Crockett handed out an outline of topics to be discussed. Crockett’s main topic of focus in his talk was how natural law can provide a framework to argue for the immorality of abortion. First, he gave a brief introduction to natural law as an objective concept that can be applied to every human being. He also brought up Aquinas’s concept of human law, saying that human law does not always adhere to natural law, and thus, natural law can condemn certain human laws that violate it, such as murder, adultery, and theft. He also emphasized that his talk will not focus on abortion through a religious perspective, despite his own Christian identification.

After giving a brief background on natural and human law, Crockett delved into the discussion of abortion and natural law. He claimed that the first thing to consider regarding abortion is whether or not abortion can be classified as murder, which he defined as “the deliberate taking of human life.” To determine whether or not abortion is murder, he said we must consider four questions: Is abortion deliberate? Are we talking about a life? Is the life human? Is the life innocent? The most debated question is whether or not the life is human. Many abortion activists do not consider a fetus a life, so they would answer “no” to this question.

Dr. Crockett cited some interesting arguments that would question the innocence of an unborn baby. “Feminist scholar Ivy Munduna argues that the fetus aggressively intrudes on a woman’s body so massively that deadly force is justified to stop it.  She argues that the fetus is objectively at fault for causing pregnancy,” said Crockett. However, he came to the conclusion that the answer is “yes” to all of the above questions, therefore, abortion is murder. “If abortion is murder, then overall, it violates natural law.”

According to attendees, average pro-life or pro-choice activists often neglect discussion of the topic in a philosophical context. “I found the theories or possibilities of why pro-choice people think that way in the context of natural law very interesting,” said Angelique Lopez, president of TFL.

Finally, Crockett discussed Thomas Aquinas’s concept of the corruption of reason and the five explanations for why people dispute the principles of natural law and whether or not abortion is murder. They are as follows: corruption of reason by passion, evil habit, evil disposition of nature, vicious custom, and depraved ideology. He emphasized that these are the main reasons why people violate the natural law conclusion that abortion is murder. Crockett concluded that we need to emphasize the centrality of humanity in order to prevent the taking of human life.

Tigers for Life will continue to host meetings and guest speakers to talk about multiple issues related to abortion from philosophy to public policy.

Movie Review: Unplanned

On March 30, I went to see Unplanned with various members of Trinity University’s student organization Tigers For Life, a pro-life club. The movie is based on Abby Johnson’s story as she became a director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, TX, and eventually became an outspoken pro-life activist.

I am an active member of Tigers For Life and consider myself knowledgeable about abortion and Planned Parenthood, as the club often hosts tables on campus to talk to our peers about abortion and other pro-life options available to women. I thought I was prepared to watch Abby Johnson’s story.

I was wrong.

Before seeing Unplanned, abortion was something that I knew about in clinical terms. I knew that suction was used to forcibly remove the unborn child from the mother’s womb. I knew that abortion is a traumatic experience for women, and that it has lasting physical and psychological effects on women. However, all of this knowledge was abstract to me.

But when watching the movie, I watched those facts and numbers and figures become the stories of the women with whom Abby Johnson interacted. I had to turn away when Johnson saw the ultrasound of a woman’s baby as it was being aborted. I cried when the fetus tried to move away from the probe, as the baby struggled desperately to save its own life.

Throughout the movie, Johnson’s Planned Parenthood clinic was watched and prayed over by a group called 40 Days for Life. Johnson had multiple conversations with the members of the group, as she often had to interact with them in order to bring patients into the clinic. The movie showed two very different pro-life groups. One was 40 Days for Life, as they peacefully prayed outside the clinic and tried to offer help and other options to the women who were scheduled to have abortions. The other group were not peaceful nor at all helpful.

In the movie, the people who were a part of 40 Days for Life condemned the other group. The other group is what some pro-choicers try to paint all pro-lifers as. People who shame women for having an abortion, and who hate them for having to make a difficult, terrible choice. They were the ones waving signs with graphic pictures of abortion and its effects on a fetus. And Unplanned did a wonderful job of showing audiences that that is not what the pro-life movement is about. Everyone whom Abby interacted with at 40 Days for Life was understanding and compassionate. While they disagreed with abortion and found it wrong, they did not hurl insults at the women at the Planned Parenthood clinic. We should not condemn someone for their beliefs or for their actions. We can only look at them with compassion and sympathy, and help those around us find a solution for their problems.

Because those with 40 Days for Life were so compassionate and understanding, they became the people to whom Johnson turned when she realized all of the evil that was happening at Planned Parenthood. I—and many others in the audience, judging by the loud sniffling and quiet sobbing that filled the theater—cried with Abby Johnson as her movie-representation cried over all of the lives she had ended.

After Johnson became pro-life, she shared a statistic that immediately caught my attention. She told Shawn Carney, the president of 40 Days for Life, that if people are praying outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic, then almost 75% of the women will not show up for their abortion appointments. Oftentimes, I feel useless when doing pro-life work. It feels like no matter how much our group tables on campus, or however much volunteer work we do, our work doesn’t affect those around us. I think that many people feel the same way. But in the movie, Johnson told Carney that, “You can’t even see how much your work actually does.” And that inspires me to keep going and to keep working. Maybe I can’t see how my actions are actually affecting those around me, but I have to have faith that my small words and deeds really can make a difference.

Unplanned opened my eyes to abortion. It forced me to confront abortion. I walked into the movie theatre with a knowledge of abortion, but I was emotionally closed off from it. I was closed off from the horror that is purposefully killing an innocent life. I didn’t let myself think about how truly terrible abortion is, even if I had a vague idea that abortion is bad. Unplanned forced me to confront abortion, and has made me even more eager to do what I can to help the pro-life movement.

Cover image courtesy of Victoria Ydens; depicting Tigers for Life attending Unplanned.

Texas Heartbeat Bill Filed by Briscoe Cain

On February 7, Representative Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) filed the Texas Heartbeat Bill, HB 1500, to prevent the abortions of the unborn with a detectable heartbeat.

In his statement, Rep. Cain said:

“The heartbeat is a universally recognized indicator of life. The Texas Heartbeat Bill recognizes that this universal indicator should also apply to our most innocent and vulnerable Texans. A society is judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable members. I believe the most defenseless of our society are the innocent unborn children. As state representative, I am committed to making Texas the safest place in America for the unborn child. I will continue to fight and ensure that all Texan children, including those saved by the Texas Heartbeat Bill, will inherit a prosperous Texas filled with endless opportunity.”

Alongside co-authors Representatives Phil King (R-Weatherford), Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) and Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land), Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) stated that “[p]rotecting the unborn life is critical to who we are as a nation and a state. When you have a heartbeat, you have a life, and we should honor that life at all cost.”

Just a week later on February 14, Rep. Cain announced that HB 1500 has now over 40 joint/co-authors, quickly gaining support in the legislature. HB 1500 was referred to the Committee on Public Health, chaired by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston). Rep. Steve Allison (R) of San Antonio is also on the committee. It has not been schedule for a hearing.

But Texas is not the only one who has filed a heartbeat bill this year. Ten other states (FL, KY, MD, MN, MS, MO, OH, SC, TN and WV) have done the same. Kentucky’s heartbeat bill has already passed out of Senate, and Mississippi’s out of both House and Senate.

Amidst other states recently passing laws allowing for late-term abortions, these bills give hope to many in the pro-life movement.