At an abortion rights rally and march Saturday, Texas congressional candidates said they were opposed to House Bill 2, though they did not have specific plans to address the bill’s provisions.
Louie Minor, a candidate for Texas Congressional District 31, said his purpose in attending the event was to support the people fighting for a “right to choose.”
“The good thing about running for office is that things like HB 2 are taken care of on the judicial side,” Minor said. “With things like this [event], we’re going to keep focusing on upcoming legislation, and that’s what’s going to create a ‘changing of the guards’ from Republican to Democratic control.”
The abortion rights event occurred while the constitutionality of HB 2, which was passed in July, is being considered by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The attorney general placed an emergency stop on a federal judge’s ruling to strike down certain portions of the bill last fall. HB 2 banned abortions after a woman has been pregnant for 20 weeks and required abortion providers to upgrade their facilities to meet the standards of surgical centers.
The rally, organized by abortion rights group TX Project Counter, celebrated the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade — the Supreme Court case preventing states from outlawing abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy. The group also advocated for an expansion of access to health care, specifically for Texas women seeking abortions.
Attendees also included Chris Osborn, who is running for Texas State Representative District 52, and John Bucy, who is running for Texas State Representative District 136. The candidates said they attended the rally to stand by the abortion rights advocates, who will be voting in the upcoming November election cycle.
Osborn said he does not follow the deliberation surrounding HB 2 but doesn’t agree with the Texas Legislature’s attempts to “limit women’s reproductive rights.”
“As a general proposition, HB 2 is unfortunate,” Osborn said. “The government is trying to create inroads to take away women’s constitutional right to make decisions about their own bodies.”
Event organizers warned against possible threats of violence posed by what they called “anti-choice” groups, who gathered at the Capitol — where the march ended — to protest Texas Judge R.H. Wallace Jr.’s order to take pregnant and brain-dead Marlise Munoz off life support, terminating the pregnancy. The Fort Worth hospital took the woman off life support Sunday.
Stacy Guidry, an organizer for the rally, said pro-abortion rights groups take a nonviolent approach when rallying.
“We are about peace,” Guidry said. “We are not provoked. Let’s send a strong message that we promote peace and respect and love.”
Editor's note: Because of an editing error, a previous version of this article used the term "pro-abortion." It has been corrected to reflect proper AP style. This was an editorial oversight, so please direct comments to the managing editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.