The Senate Health and Human Services Committee took up legislation on Wednesday that would end the gruesome practice of dismemberment abortion. But one “pro-life” organization sided with pro-abortion groups in opposing the legislation.
Even worse, the group’s leader made arguments critics said would aid a legal challenge against the law by abortion groups.
Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojman testified along with activists from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) against restrictions on dismemberment abortion, one of the most brutal and barbaric ways unborn children’s lives are ended.
According to the National Right to Life Committee, the procedure requires an abortionist to “dismember a living unborn child and extract him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, and /or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.”
Banning the procedure is supported by a host of pro-life organizations and the Republican Party of Texas. At the 2016 Texas GOP Convention in Dallas, the dismemberment abortion ban plank received support from more than 95 percent of delegates—more than any other pro-life plank.
Efforts to ban the technique have already been successful in seven other states. Leading the push to add Texas to the list are the state’s oldest pro-life organization and National Right to Life Committee affiliate, Texas Right to Life and State Sen. Charles Perry (R–Lubbock).
With the support of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Perry’s SB 415 was heard in the Health & Human Services Committee of the Texas Senate Wednesday and scores of Texans came to testify on the issue.
Surprising many, Pojman, the head of the nominally-pro-life TAL urged senators not to pass the bill, claiming it stands no chance in the courts.
“On the dismemberment ban, with due respect to the author, we do not believe it can survive a federal court challenge and we cannot recommend it to you,” stated Pojman.
A full video of Pojman’s remarks can be found here:
As can be seen in the video, Perry took Pojman to task, pointing out that he and TAL had frequently opposed pro-life reforms in the past using the same argument. A number of those those policies to be upheld when later challenged in court.
“If we took your position today, we would have never passed,” said Perry, referring to the 20 week ban on abortion passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013.”If we operate on fear of being challenged we will never be successful in moving the ball forward on matters related to protecting life.”
Critics say lurking within Pojman’s remarks was a poison pill that may turn his comments into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
While arguing with Perry about the bill, Pojman asserted that the bill would effectively ban second-trimester abortions. If the law passes, it will be challenged in court and abortion groups are certain to use that part of Pojman’s testimony in court, says Empower Texans General Counsel Tony McDonald.
“Pojman’s remarks today plant dangerous land mines in the way of any legal strategy to defend SB 415 if it passes and is challenged in court,” said McDonald. “Abortion groups will use Pojman’s testimony as a ‘confession’ that SB 415 is so ‘extreme’ that even pro-life groups are opposing it.”
Unfortunately, Pojman’s betrayal wasn’t surprising to those who have been watching his actions over the past few years.
Once an ally in pro-life efforts, Pojman sold out to liberal House Speaker Joe Straus (R–San Antonio), a Planned Parenthood donation recipient with a 100 percent rating from NARAL. Since then, he’s relied on Straus and House leadership to bankroll his organization.
TAL’s mission is to provide “pro-life” cover for some of Texas’ most pro-abortion politicians, endorsing them in contentious primary elections over pro-life challengers.
Meanwhile Pojman also endorses against proven pro-life conservatives, like Sen. Perry.
Despite being one of Texas’ strongest pro-life voices in the Texas Legislature and being endorsed by Texas Right to Life, Pojman refused to endorse Perry in his campaign for Texas Senate. Instead, Pojman gave money to Perry’s unproven establishment opponent.
Despite those efforts, conservatives overwhelmingly chose Perry —promoting him into the Texas Senate where he has continued to be a pro-life warrior.
Pojman’s organization has also snubbed other pro-life conservatives such as State Reps. Jonathan Stickland (R–Bedford) and Matt Rinaldi (R–Irving) all of whom have irrefutable pro-life bona fides. Meanwhile Pojman has endorsed and campaigned for State Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R–Gatesville), who confessed last session on the floor that he supports Roe v. Wade and abortion access.
Texas Alliance for Life isn’t a pro-life organization. It’s merely an access organization designed to provide Pojman an opportunity to rub shoulders with “important people.”
Desperate for a “seat at the table” and place inside the palace, Pojman has been willing to do anything. He may have thought selling out would result in his promotion to be a full-fledged member of Straus’ court, but instead he’s been relegated to the role of jester.
As such, he’s often trotted out not only to sabotage efforts to protect life, but more recently free speech as well. In each case Pojman makes a fool of himself and alienates would-be allies.
A backwards organization led by a backwards man, Texas Alliance for Life should come clean as a shell corporation for the abortion lobby and a front for the pro-abortion Democrat coalition that runs the Texas House. If they won’t, they should at least change their name.
Texas Alliance for Lies seems pretty fitting.