Pro-Life Supporters Rally for Texas Law Outside Supreme Court

Slawson explained that she lost a daughter during pregnancy, and that “the end of her precious life was marked by when her heart stopped beating.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks outside the Supreme Court following oral arguments on Nov. 1, 2021
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks outside the Supreme Court following oral arguments on Nov. 1, 2021 (photo: Christine Rousselle/CNA / EWTN)

WASHINGTON — Supporters of the Texas Heartbeat Act rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court Monday while justices deliberated challenges to the state’s new law, which bans most abortions after approximately six weeks of gestation.

“I was honored to be at the court today representing [the pro-life] viewpoint, and representing the laws of the state of Texas,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a brief press conference held following the conclusion of oral arguments. 

“We’re going to continue to fight this fight,” he said. 

On Monday the court heard arguments concerning a pair of lawsuits  — one filed by Texas abortion providers, and the other by the Biden administration arguments — seeking to overturn the law, which took effect Sept. 1.

Opponents of abortion hope that Texas’ ban and the looming Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, for which the court will hear oral arguments on Dec. 1, signal new hope for protecting the unborn.

Texas Rep. Shelby Slawson, R-Stephenville, who authored and sponsored the Texas House of Representatives version of the bill, said that “there is no question that a heartbeat signifies life, and that beating heart in a womb is the life of a human child.”

Slawson explained that she lost a daughter during pregnancy, and that “the end of her precious life was marked by when her heart stopped beating.” 

“The question isn’t whether the heartbeat represents life, but the value that we ascribe to it, and the sanctity of that life,” she said. “Numerous other states have enacted laws to protect innocent unborn life, and we are thrilled that the Texas Heartbeat Act is effective and has finally brought about that protection to ensure that once a heartbeat is protected, that little baby’s life is protected.”

Texas Sen. Angela Paxton, whose husband is the state’s attorney general, also spoke at the press conference. Monday, she said, marked their wedding anniversary, and she joked that her husband told her he had a “surprise” set for their anniversary. 

“I don’t know if there’s a more beautiful thing to celebrate, though, than life,” she said. “I am so grateful to be here today, as an adopted child myself.” 

“I am grateful to stand here today, to stand anywhere, any day, because I've gotten my chance to live,” she said. “I’m thankful to my birth mother, Linda, who made the brave choice to give me life.” 

Every human being, said Sen. Paxton, should be protected under the law.

“That is the spirit, and the letter, of the Texas Heartbeat Act,” she said.

Supporters of the bill were dressed mostly in red, and there were numerous red heart-shaped mylar balloons tied to a barricade near the steps of the court. Proponents of the bill told CNA that the color choice was meant to stir images of hearts and heartbeats.

“We’re here to support the Texas Heartbeat Bill today,” said Lauren Marlowe, from Students for Life Action. 

“I think [the bill] protects lives. It saves 120 to 150 lives every day, and I’m in support [of] anything that’s going to save human lives,” she said. Marlowe laid blame at the mainstream media for stoking division between those who were in favor of the bill and those who were opposed.

“We don’t have hate for them,” she said. “We’re just here to help them and to give love to them, when they’re ready.” 

Nov. 1 also marks the start of National Adoption Month, which Herbie Newell, executive director of Lifeline Children’s Services, told CNA was what actually initially brought him to Washington Monday. 

Lifeline Children’s Services assists families with international adoptions and also provides resources to assist women in the United States who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. 

Newell told CNA that he was “just so grateful for that bill, and for life-affirming legislation in Texas,” which he hoped the Supreme Court would uphold. 

For Newell, “pro-life is pro-human flourishing and is pro-woman; it’s not against women, it’s not against women’s healthcare.” 

“Women’s healthcare is not abortion. It’s so many things besides abortion. It’s the lie, honestly, that’s been given to women,” he said. 

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