Texas Catholic Voice May 2024

In this issue of the Texas Catholic Voice:

  • Texas Supreme Court supports life-giving care ...
  • New legislators ...
  • Pope's prayer request ...
  • And more!

A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director

On May 31, the Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the state in Zurawski v. Texas, a case challenging the Heartbeat Act and the Human Life Protection Act which bans elective abortions except to save the life of the mother or a major bodily function. The plaintiffs in the case were women who suffered serious complications during their pregnancies and two abortion rights activist physicians who were not their medical providers. 

The Center for Reproductive Rights sued on behalf of the plaintiffs seeking to expand the exceptions. The decision states,”… the law does not require that a woman’s death be imminent or that she first suffer physical impairment. Rather, Texas law permits a physician to address the risk that a life-threatening condition poses before a woman suffers the consequences of that risk. A physician who tells a patient, “Your life is threatened by a complication that has arisen during your pregnancy, and you may die, or there is a serious risk you will suffer substantial physical impairment unless an abortion is performed,” and in the same breath states “but the law won’t allow me to provide an abortion in these circumstances” is simply wrong in that legal assessment.  

We are grateful the Supreme Court upheld this law which saves the lives of mothers and children. We hope that doctors will be made aware of this ruling which restates for them that the law allows them to intervene to save the life of a mother. Pregnancy complications can be life threatening for both mother and baby and a life-limiting diagnosis of an unborn child is devastating. The Texas Medical Board is currently working on guidance for physicians regarding the law and we have submitted comments and testified that women should never experience a delay in treatment due to physicians’ uncertainty regarding what is permissible and their fear of running afoul of the law.  

Some media and advocacy groups like the Center for Reproductive Rights are exploiting tragic stories to expand so-called abortion rights. We will continue to advocate for the highest levels of authentic medical care and support for pregnant women, their unborn children, and their families. 

Election results mean many newcomers 

In addition to the incumbents who lost in the March primary, several more incumbents lost on May 28 in the primary runoff which means the 89th legislative session will have a large freshman class, with at least 32 new members in the House. A few other incumbents face close elections in November, so that number could grow. We look forward to building relationships with the new legislators to work for the common good and sharing with them the work of the various Catholic ministries in their district. 

What really is the Church's view on migration?

The Church acknowledges and supports the right of nations to manage their borders, but offers an alternative vision to accomplish this goal, consistent with human dignity.

Pope Francis' prayer intention for June: For migrants

We pray for those fleeing their own countries. For more information, visit the Pope's Video website.

Upcoming executions

Ramiro Gonzales is scheduled for execution on June 26 for the rape and murder of Bridget Townsend in 2001. Mr. Gonzales confessed to the crime and has expressed deep remorse for his crimes. We pray for Bridget Townsend’s family and for all those on death row, their victims, the victims’ families, and for an end to the death penalty.