As the Texas abortion trigger ban goes into effect, Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger in the race for governor, is making abortion access a central point of his campaign and will be spending big money on getting his message out across the state.
O’Rourke released his first statewide TV ads today and is using the trigger ban to go after his opponent, Gov. Greg Abbott, the Republican who signed the bill into law.
This comes as abortions in nearly all cases, except to save the life of the mother, are banned here in the Lone Star state.
“We all need to understand what the true cost of this decision is, this decision that Greg Abbott made a year ago to sign the most restrictive abortion law in the country, no exception for rape, no exception for incest,” O’Rourke said at a press conference in Houston.
O’Rourke’s first ad paints the abortion trigger ban as the “most extreme” in America.
“Women will die because of it, all because of Greg Abbott’s abortion law. It’s too extreme so I’m voting for Beto,” a woman in the campaign ad said.
Abbott pushed back by releasing an ad with captions and with the sound of a heartbeat in the background accusing O’Rourke of supporting late-term abortions.
“I trust women and their doctors to make their decisions about their body, about their healthcare and about their future,” the West Texas Democrat said.
Abbott’s press secretary Renae Eze issued the following statement regarding the abortion ban:
“Texas is a pro-life state, and we have taken significant action to protect the sanctity of life. That includes both the mother’s life and the baby’s life. Texas has prioritized supporting women's healthcare and expectant mothers in need to give them the necessary resources so that they can choose life for their child. Governor Abbott signed laws providing more pre-natal and post-partum care for mothers and expanding the Alternatives to Abortion program by more than 800% since he first took office. This critical program provides counseling, mentoring, care coordination, and material assistance, such as car seats, diapers, and housing to mothers in need. Texas also has more crisis pregnancy centers than any state to help with unexpected pregnancy.”
However, a University of Texas at Tyler poll from earlier this month showed 82 percent of Texans support some access to abortion. With this poll data, O’rourke saw an opening.
“August 25, women across Texas are no longer free,” one woman said in the new O’Rourke ad.
Not only with Democrats and Independents, O’rourke believes abortion access can win over Republicans.
“All of them will be showing up to vote to support a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body,” he said.
O’Rourke’s campaign is also highlighting that 78 percent of Texas Republicans support abortion exceptions in cases of rape or incest.