Abortion rights are focus of O'Rourke's campaign for governor
By Jack Fink, KTVT
DENTON, Texas (KTVT) — Speaking to hundreds of people at the Denton Civic Center on Wednesday, Democrat Beto O'Rourke made it clear that a key part of his fight to unseat incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott is over access to abortion in Texas.
"We're in the fight of our lives," O'Rourke said, "And I know that we're going to win, because we're fighting for every woman to make her own decisions about her own body."
The state's new law bans most abortions — including in cases of rape and incest — with the only exception to save the mother's life.
A recent poll in Texas shows 55 percent of those surveyed believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 44 percent said it should be illegal in most or all cases.
O'Rourke blames Abbott and calls the law extreme.
"I'm making this a priority, because women are under attack in this state unlike any moment in this state's history," the Democratic candidate said.
While campaigning in Allen last week, Abbott was asked whether Texas Republicans have gone too far.
"On abortion, it's Beto who's an extremist," Abbott said. "Because what Beto believes in is not only abortion of a fully developed baby to the very last second before that baby is born, he is even against a law that was proposed that would have required a doctor to provide medical care to a baby who survives abortion. That is murder."
"It is completely false, and it is part of his scare tactics," O'Rourke said. "He wants voters to be afraid, because he knows that he is so out of line and out of step with the Texas electorate."
As a congressman, O'Rourke voted against a bill that would have required doctors to provide aid to a baby that survived an abortion. At the time, he said the existing law already required doctors to do so, and he was concerned the proposal would have left doctors facing criminal charges and lawsuits.
Analysts say the abortion issue has mobilized Democrats and some independents as well.
Election Day is November 8.