On November 28, the Dallas Morning News admitted that Texas Democrats didn’t get the support that they had anticipated during the 2022 midterm elections.
The Democratic Party has long been in the pocket of the abortion lobby, and no candidate more so than Beto O’Rourke. In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, during these past midterms, Democratic candidates across the country had to decide whether to lean into the pro-abortion party line or attempt to sidestep this hot-button issue. In typical fashion, Beto went all in.
The return of abortion policy to the states allowed the Democratic Party to test its pro-abortion strategy like never before, and Beto was happy to oblige, running a largely abortion-focused campaign for Governor of Texas. Beto centered his campaign around the state’s conditional law, which outlawed nearly all abortions in Texas upon the overturn of Roe v. Wade. He even went so far as to say that this ban was “the most important thing” voters needed to know about Governor Greg Abbott.
But it wasn’t just talk; Beto ran campaign ads, sent fundraising emails, and gave stump speeches dripping with deceptive abortion messaging. He held a news conference to rail against the implementation of this conditional law. O’Rourke even brought former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards on as the national finance chair of his campaign.
Though Beto led the charge, he wasn’t alone. As The Texas Tribune reported,
“Rochelle Garza, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, held her record as a reproductive rights attorney up against incumbent Ken Paxton’s staunch anti-abortion views. Down-ballot, more legislative candidates spoke more frankly and more often about abortion than ever before.”
The Democratic ticket in Texas would sink or swim on the abortion issue. They sank like a stone.
The Texas Tribune continued, “But statewide Democratic candidates lost, badly, on Tuesday, and the Legislature remains Republican-dominated.”
Beto O’Rourke got shellacked on Election Night. The Democratic nominee lost by a double-digit margin of 54.8% to 43.8%. Despite Beto’s $75 million dollar campaign contribution advantage over Lupe Valdez, the 2018 Democratic candidate for Governor, he still managed to receive 7,000 fewer votes than Valdez.
On the other hand, Governor Abbott has been publicly supportive of the pro-life cause and followed through with legislative action, including signing the groundbreaking Texas Heartbeat Law into effect which, even before the overturn of Roe v. Wade, prohibited abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is typically at 5 to 6 weeks gestation. The pro-abortion lobby had a meltdown. But you know what didn’t happen? The sky didn’t fall in Texas. Women got the care they needed and babies’ lives were saved.
And according to Dr. Michael New’s research at the Charlotte Lozier Institute where he analyzed newly published Texas birth data:
“between March 2022 and July 2022, the number of births in Texas increased by more than 5,000 as compared to identical time periods from previous years. This review of newly available state birth data provides a compelling indication that the Texas Heartbeat Act has already played a vital role in saving thousands of lives in the Lone Star state.”
Texas’ Alternatives to Abortion program was and still is the safety net to serve the needs of women and children in Texas, and other states have something to learn from Texas and implement their own safety nets in this post-Roe era. The Alternatives to Abortion program was both prophetic as well as overdue in the pro-life movement. It is funded by the state of Texas to the tune of $100 million, and in the new legislative session, we hope that this amount will only increase. The Texas Alternatives to Abortion program receives a federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant and state general revenue funds to support services for pregnant women, their families, and for adoptive parents. It works with over 300 pregnancy centers in Texas, social service providers, adoption agencies, and maternity homes to help women and families in need.
And it turns out that being pro-life and saving lives is a winning strategy in Texas.
Throughout the campaign, Beto claimed that Texans were uniting in support of abortion. By that logic, not only would Abbott have gone down in defeat, but Texas Senator Bryan Hughes and Representative Shelby Slawson, who served as the Senate and House authors of the Texas Heartbeat Law, would have been thrown out by their constituents for authoring such legislation. And yet, both ran unopposed.
The Texas Democratic Party and, particularly, the man at the top of their ticket made abortion the priority, and they both failed miserably. Both sides can learn from the results. The life issue is strong in Texas and clearly won at the ballot box. Voters made it clear in Texas that they support life. In the new legislative session, we will be promoting more life-protective measures.
Texas continues to lead the way in a pro-life America.
Reporting from The Christian Post.