On Monday, May 2, Texas Republicans had an uncanny reaction to the leak of a Supreme Court of the United States draft opinion which plans to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case which guarantees a federal right to an abortion.
Not surprisingly, Texas Republicans were more offended by the leak than the end of a constitutional right and precedent in the U.S. decided in 1973.
At the same time, high-ranking Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, weren’t even bothered to say the word “abortion” in their press release.
While President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, said “women’s right to choose is fundamental” and put the onus on the voters to “elect pro-choice officials.”
On Thursday, Schumer announced the Senate would be voting again on the Women’s Health Protection Act next week. But without eliminating the filibuster, the chances of the law passing are slim to none.
In reality, access to abortion is a prevalent issue among voters, and their viewpoints stray far from the right-wing religious leader’s ideas of liberty and the right to privacy. According to a study by the Texas Politics Project, 78 percent of Texas voters agree access to abortion should be allowed in some form.
So not only do Texas voters want access to abortion in cases of rape, and incest, but the majority of voters believe regardless of their situation, all pregnant people deserve to control their bodily autonomy.
For years, Republicans have ignored the essence of separation between Church and state, citing their personal religious beliefs over federal protections.
In an interview with Fox News, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called the leak an “egregious breach of court trust in our nation’s history.”
Additionally, Cruz implied the leak was released by a “left-wing law clerk” despite no evidence supporting his claim and supporting SCOTUS’s investigation and possible prosecution of the leaker.
As a former Supreme Court law clerk, Cruz should know leaking documents isn’t illegal unless crimes were committed to obtain the document. And thus, according to experts, no matter their political affiliation, the leaker likely won’t face criminal charges.
Once again, one of Texas’ most famous elected officials is wrong on where his constituents stand on one of America’s most politicized issues. According to a study by the Pew research center, six out of ten Americans support legal abortion in all or most cases.
Nonetheless, another Texas Republican creating laws against his voter’s interests is Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who released a cringy statement on Tuesday in response to the leak.
“We are steadfastly a pro-life state and have made tremendous efforts to support women choosing life,” Patrick said. “I am sure the left will fight to allow abortion in Texas. They will not win that fight.”
Like Patrick, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also cites his anti-abortion politics around religious beliefs and “states rights.”
“Let the states make decisions,” Paxton said in an interview with Fox News. “If Texas wants to pass more restrictive laws, they can do that. People can vote with their feet and decide where they want to live based on the laws of that state.”
And last but not least, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had a different reaction than his Republican colleagues. In October, the governor openly admitted to the UnderCurrentTV that Republicans had outlawed abortion in Texas but hasn’t commented on the leak. Most likely, it’s news he already expected.
Abbott signed Texas’ trigger law last legislative session, which would ban all abortions in any form 30 days after the SCOTUS official decision. Under the law, a performed abortion would be considered a felony with up to life in prison for abortion providers and a $100,000 fine.
While Texas Republicans target people’s constitutional rights, the state is ranked 43rd on national education, has the highest uninsured population in the United States, and still is running a failing electric grid.
Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.