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Texas GOP Divided Over Abortion Policies

In Texas, the GOP is divided over abortion as Republican women fight to keep the issue off the party’s list of priorities and some Christian conservatives believe anyone who does not prioritize abortion should be ousted.

Gilda Bayegan and Michelle Bouchard, both Republican state delegates from Harris County, have said the party needs to move on from the issue because more restrictive bans are becoming increasingly unpopular and could cost votes in the next election.

“Every time we talk about abortion, we are putting gas in the tank of the Democrats. That’s their one winning issue,” she said at the state party convention in May. 

Many leaders have struggled to balance their long-standing anti-abortion stance with the political reality that new abortion restrictions are unpopular, even former president Donald Trump has realized this and distanced himself from the issue. 

The Associated Press reported that the Republican National Committee has moved to adopt a party platform that reflects Trump’s position against a federal abortion ban. However, some Christian conservatives are still pushing for an outright federal ban on abortion.

Bayegan and Bouchard launched a campaign named “Right to Win,” aimed to shift the party’s focus from abortion. At the party’s convention in San Antonio, their group spoke about how abortion is costing Republican votes at the elections, but they faced severe backlash. 

“These individuals are living in an alternate reality,” Matt Rinaldi, the former chairman of the Texas Republican Party, wrote in a tweet referring to the group. “Principles win elections.”

The Washington Post reported that, after the convention, a coalition of Harris County Republicans, led by a Pastor, sought to condemn the group and strip them of their precinct chair titles.

“I’m a lifelong Republican,” Bouchard told the pastor. “I was in the second row of Reagan’s inauguration. How dare you try to kick me out of the party as a duly-elected precinct chair?”

Despite these efforts, the group managed to avoid being expelled from the party,

“This is not about abortion,” Bouchard said. “This is about freedom of speech.”

Both Bouchard and Bayegan support abortion rights, saying that Republican values of personal freedom and limited government led themselves to that position. They argued the party should listen to different points of views if they want to win the elections. In their group, there are also pro-life members who think the party should leave the issue behind.

Ultimately, their efforts paid off. When the state’s delegates voted on the platform, abortion was not included as a priority for the next two years. Bayegan and Bouchard celebrated this outcome, believing it would allow Republican lawmakers to focus on other important issues. They also added supporters to their group.

“We arrived (at the party’s convention) with about a hundred supporters and left with over four hundred!” Bouchard wrote in an email to the group.

Bayegan and Bouchard remain determined to continue their fight, believing that their party should represent a broader range of views

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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