Court Upholds Texas' Personhood Law
- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the Prenatal Protection Act this month, once again affirming the personhood of an unborn victim. Read more...
- Check out videos and photos from the Life & Liberty Dinner on June 10. Don't miss the inspiring messages from Dr. Richard Land and some of Texas' top pro-life elected officials. Read more...
- Special guest Abby Johnson spoke at the Austin Walk 2010 on Saturday, June 19. Read more...(full text below)
Videos Now Available from Life & Liberty Dinner
In another victory for Texas' "personhood law," the Prenatal Protection Act, the state's highest criminal court unanimously upheld the conviction of a San Antonio man for murdering a pregnant girl and her "thirteen-week-old unborn child."
The groundbreaking Prenatal Protection Act recognized, for the first time in the history of Texas, the personhood of "an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth" and made it possible to prosecute for violent crimes of assault and murder against unborn persons.
In its opinion, delivered on June 16, the nine-member Texas Court of Criminal Appeals relied heavily on an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief submitted by Texas Alliance for Life (TAL). TAL's brief defended the constitutionality of the Prenatal Protection Act, which was passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2003.
In 2005, Adrian Estrada, a youth director at a San Antonio church, murdered through "multiple stab wounds and strangulation" 17-year-old Stephanie Sanchez, who was carrying a child fathered by him. It was the third time she was impregnated by Estrada, with the first pregnancy ending by abortion and the second by miscarriage.
The Court noted that Roe v. Wade permits states to criminalize the homicide of an unborn child so long as the law does not restrict the mother's right to terminate her pregnancy.
"Once again the legal personhood of the unborn child has been upheld in Texas so that our legislature can protect mothers and unborn babies from violent crimes," says Joe Pojman, Ph.D., TAL's executive director. "Although the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade opinion forbids Texas from protecting unborn children from abortion, we believe the Prenatal Protection Act creates a foothold for someday overturning Roe."
This is the fourth time the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the Prenatal Protection Act and the third time TAL has submitted a brief to that court. In each case, the Court's opinion was consistent with the arguments in TAL’s brief.
Abby Johnson Encourages Walkers at Austin Walk 2010
"Do not grow weary in your labors, because we are winning the battle for hearts and minds. The Gallup Poll shows now for the first time since they started polling the question 20 years ago the majority of Americans describe themselves as 'pro-life.' Pro-life is the new normal!" said Dr. Richard Land to resounding applause at TAL's Life & Liberty Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Dallas on June 10. Watch video.
Land, who has served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission since 1988, encouraged dinner guests with hopeful statistics for a pro-life future in the United States:
Since 1973, pro-life parents have been having their babies and they've been raising them to be pro-life. Pro-abortion parents have often not had their babies, so they haven't raised them to be anything. That is why, in spite of the best efforts of popular culture, in spite of the best efforts of sex education in the schools, in spite of the best efforts of Planned Parenthood, the most pro-life demographic in America are those Americans who are 37 and younger because they've been disproportionately raised by pro-life parents. ... If the most pro-life demographic in the country is 37 and younger, only half of them can vote yet. Guess what happens when the other half can vote?The Life & Liberty Dinner also featured excellent speeches by Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, state Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), and Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. Watch now.
Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo, Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), and Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) were also part of the evening's program.
TAL would like to thank all the volunteers who helped make the evening possible. We are especially grateful to the elected officials and candidates who attended and were recognized for their commitment to life:
(Those not running for re-election are marked by an asterisk.)
*Justice Don Willet (Texas Supreme Court)
*Elizabeth Ames Jones (Railroad Commissioner)
Justice Robert (Bob) Fillmore (Justice, 5th Court of Appeals District, Place 12)
Sen. Bob Deuell, M.D. (R, State Senate District 2)
Sen. Robert Nichols (R, State Senate District 3)
Sen. Joan Huffman (R, State Senate District 17)
Rep. Dan Flynn (R, State House District 2)
Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt (R, State House District 17)
Rep. Charlie Howard (R, State House District 26)
Rep. Randy Weber (R, State House District 29)
Rep. Rob Orr (R, State House District 58)
Rep. Larry Phillips (R, State House District 62)
Rep. Tan Parker (R, State House District 63)
Rep. Doug Miller (R, State House District 73)
Rep. Todd Smith (R, State House District 92)
Rep. Diane Patrick (R, State House District 94)
Rep. Mark M. Shelton (R, State House District 97)
Rep. Jim Jackson (R, State House District 115)
Rep. Wayne Smith (R, State House District 128)
Rep. Allen Fletcher (R, State House District 130)
Rep. Gary Elkins (R, State House District 135)
Rep. Ken Legler (R, State House District 144)
Cathy Adams (Chair, Republican Party of Texas)
Robin Armstrong (Vice Chair, Republican Party of Texas)
Melissa Goodwin (Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District, Place 4)
Francisco "Quico" Canseco (R, U.S. Representative, District 23)
R. Blake Farenthold (R, U. S. Representative, District 27)
Erwin Cain (R, State House District 3)
James White (R, State House District 12)
Charles Schwertner (R, State House District 20)
Paul Workman (R, State House District 47)
Dr. Pat McGuinness (R, State House District 50)
Marilyn Jackson (R, State House District 51)
Bill Zedler (R, State House District 96)
Cindy Burkett (R, State House District 101)
Kenneth Sheets (R, State House District 107)
Dan Huberty (R, State House District 127)
Jim Murphy (R, State House District 133)
Jack O'Connor (R, State House District 149)
Former Bryan Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson encouraged walkers at the Austin Walk 2010 to keep up the good work, saying pro-life efforts are making a difference. Johnson, who is now a pro-life advocate and has gained national attention for her conversion, will be the keynote speaker at TAL's Annual Benefit Dinner on Tuesday, October 19, 2010, at the Hilton Austin.
The Austin Walk brought the Walk 2010 season to a close at The Quarries in Austin on Saturday, June 19. It was preceded by Walks in Georgetown (May 22) and Seguin (June 5). See photos from each of the Walk locations.
It's not too late to participate! Pledges will be accepted through June 30. Make a pledge online today!
Texas Alliance for Life thanks all who participated as walkers, sponsors, or volunteers! The funds raised from the Walk 2010 will help support TAL's pro-life research, legal defense, and education efforts. In addition, 20 percent of the proceeds will be distributed as grants to local pregnancy resource centers and organizations that assist pregnant women.
Following the Walks at the Seguin and Austin locations, awards were presented to the following:
SeguinTAL would also like to thank the following sponsors:
Church with Most Pledges (more than 1,000 members): Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Parish, Seguin
Church with Most Walkers (more than 1,000 members):Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Parish, Seguin
Church with Most Pledges (fewer than 1,000 members): St. James Catholic Parish, Seguin
Church with Most Walkers (fewer than 1,000 members):St. James Catholic Parish, Seguin
Top Pastor (of church with fewer than 1,000 members): Msgr. Dennis Darilek, St. James Catholic Parish, Seguin
Top Walker: Msgr. Dennis Darilek
Top Youth: Larissa Garcia
Youth Group with Most Pledges: Daughters of Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Seguin
Youth Group with Most Walkers: Daughters of Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Seguin
Church with Most Pledges (more than 1,000 members): St. Theresa Catholic Parish, Austin
Church with Most Walkers (more than 1,000 members): Shoreline Christian Church, Austin
Top Pastor (of church with more than 1,000 members): Fr. James Ekeocha, St. Thomas More Catholic Parish, Austin
Church with Most Pledges (fewer than 1,000 members): Austin Chinese Church, Austin
Church with Most Walkers (fewer than 1,000 members): All Saints Presbyterian, Austin
Top Pastor (of church with fewer than 1,000 members): Deacon Ka-Leung & Sybil Lee, Austin Chinese Church, Austin
Top Walker: Marilyn & Joe Williams
Top Youth: Nate Dobson
Youth Group with Most Pledges: Northwest Fellowship Youth Group, Austin
Austin Baptist AssociationIt's not too late to participate! Make a pledge online today.
Auto Wash Systems, Dan Knight (New Braunfels)
El Ranchito Restaurant, De La Garza Family (Seguin)
Home Depot (Seguin)
KLGO The Word 98.5/99.3 (Austin)
Knight Fuels Inc., Dan Knight (Seguin)
Knights of Columbus Council #3412 (Seguin)
Knights of Columbus Council #5967 (Austin)
Lil Super Chevron, Brennen Knight (Seguin)
Main Event (Austin)
Regal Cinema (Austin)
Relevant Radio 970 AM (Austin)
Rudy's "Country Store" and Bar-B-Q (Austin)
Shear Magic Hair Salon (Seguin)
Villeneuve Insurance, Charles Villeneuve (Seguin)