Beto O'Rourke says he'll work to reverse Texas' abortion ban

Although the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade could energize O'Rourke's campaign, he'd still face a GOP-controlled Texas Legislature.

click to enlarge Beto O'Rourke speaks during a campaign appearance. - Luke Harold / Wikimedia Commons
Luke Harold / Wikimedia Commons
Beto O'Rourke speaks during a campaign appearance.
Texas gubernatorial contender Beto O'Rourke would work to repeal Texas' abortion ban and widen access to reproductive health care if elected in November, the Democrat said in a Texas Tribune interview.

Even so, O'Rourke acknowledged to the news outlet that he would face the challenge of working with the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature. No Democrat has won statewide office since 1994, and political observers expect the lege to remain solidly red for the foreseeable future.

“Just imagine the shockwaves this will send if for the first time in 32 years, Texas elects a Democrat as governor, a governor who won on the right of every woman to make her own decision about her own body, her own future, and her own health care,” O’Rourke said following a Sunday rally in Austin. “You know the Legislature will not only take notice, they will be forced to act in more of our common interest, instead of this extreme, fringe set of policies they have been pursuing over the last decade.”

Although he faces an uphill battle against Gov. Greg Abbott, the Republican incumbent, O'Rourke told the Tribune he's targeting voters who haven't voted in previous Texas elections along with independents and mainline conservatives alienated by the "extremism of the modern Republican Party."

O'Rourke trails Abbott in polls, however he's managed to substantially narrow that deficit. Abbott's lead plummeted to 5 points from 15 points in a Quinnipiac University poll from earlier this month, the first significant survey of the race since the Uvalde school shooting.

Political experts also expect last week's Supreme Court repeal of Roe v. Wade to energize Democrats in November.

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