Texas Catholic Voice March 27, 2024

In this issue of the Texas Catholic Voice:

  • Support for difficult pregnancies ...
  • Update on SB4 implementation ...
  • No executions scheduled ...
  • And more!

A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director


On Friday, March 22, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) heard testimony on proposed rules for exceptions to the abortion ban in Texas law which were not published until after the meeting.

Our testimony emphasized that the exception language in statute is clear and Catholic healthcare providers have been caring for women experiencing pregnancy complications without performing abortions for decades.

Unfortunately, many physicians have not had the benefit of practicing medicine within a prolife context and education is urgently needed. Women seeking treatment for high-risk pregnancies, or who have lost or are in the process of losing their unborn babies, should not ever experience a delay in care or be subjected to undue mental and emotional strain caused by a physician’s uncertainty regarding what course of treatment is legally permitted under Texas law.  

Some of the testimony heard was an attack on the law itself or a demand for broad exceptions, such as the mother’s mental health or for cases in which the baby will live with a severe disability and/or has received a fatal diagnosis.

It is heartbreaking when the joy of pregnancy turns to fear and uncertainty due to severe medical challenges; the most compassionate response is to provide perinatal palliative care to ensure families are provided with the support needed.  

The board has no authority to amend the law and they said as much during the meeting. They can only provide guidance within the framework of statutory language. The proposed rules are now available for public comment for a minimum of 30 days. We will share our submitted comments in the next issue of the Voice. 

As our state continues to enforce the Human Life Protection Act to protect the unborn, many continue to use emotional arguments that mothers “need” access to abortion because of the lack of support in caring for their children. Yet there are pro-life pregnancy care centers and Catholic Charities ministries throughout the state who are ready to accompany and support these mothers and fathers in their parenting journey.

USSCB has released a new video for Walking with Moms in Need which highlights how the Church supports these families. Please help spread awareness of this important initiative! 



Implementation of SB 4, the Texas law allowing local and state law enforcement to remove migrants illegally crossing the Texas border, has still not begun due to a series of court injunctions since the federal government sued in January. The Fifth Circuit will have a hearing on the constitutionality of the law on April 3. The US Supreme Court has long held that immigration is strictly under the purview of the federal government, one of the reasons we have opposed SB 4. We will continue to closely monitor the situation. 

This article provides helpful context for the church's ministry for migrants and border communities.

Have a blessed Holy Week and a Happy Easter!

No upcoming executions

We are pleased the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has stayed the execution of James Harris Jr., scheduled for March 13, and remanded the case to the trial court, based on the complaint that the jury selection process violated the Equal Protection Clause, Due Process Clause, and the Sixth Amendment’s requirement of an impartial jury.

We are grateful no other executions are scheduled at this time.

Pope Francis' prayer intention for April: For the role of women

We pray that the dignity and immense value of women be recognized in every culture, and for the end of discrimination that they experience in different parts of the world.