Fighting for Life in Texas
It’s not all Wendy Davis in the Lone Star State.

Emily Horne (left) of Texas Right to Life


LOPEZ: What’s your advice to people who oppose abortion, when they talk about it, particularly in the political realm, but also at the Christmas party? 

HORNE: What I like to do most when talking to people who are pro-choice is to first ask them to explain their position and let them talk, uninterrupted. No one likes or needs to get into a shouting match, and if you let someone on the other side explain their entire position, they are more willing to let you ask questions or point out some of the holes in their logic. If you’ve listened quietly, more often then not, they will give you a great opportunity to explain your views that come from a deep respect for life. This is where the compassion element comes in as well — no matter what venue you’re talking about abortion in, let your statements reflect a compassion for those facing the decision, those who have made that decision, and also the unborn children facing a tragic (and sometimes painful) death without our help. 


LOPEZ: Have you seen increased interest in your work, given all the controversies around Davis and the law that subsequently passed this year? 

HORNE: We have seen a huge spike in interest in the pro-life work being done in Texas as a result of the filibuster and subsequent passage of the law. The filibuster was a huge wakeup call to the people of Texas who were already pro-life and realized they needed to become more involved in our work. 


LOPEZ: Do you feel any qualms about all these clinics that are closing in Texas on account of that law? They do provide services other than abortion, after all. 

HORNE: Abortion is not health care; it is the tragic end to a defenseless, voiceless unborn child. If Hitler had started German health initiatives benefiting the German people, that would not have made his concentration camps any less evil. Texas has taken great strides to ensure that actual health services that might be found at abortion clinics are provided at abortion-free centers, through the Texas Women’s Health Program — so the need for vital health services is fully addressed.


LOPEZ: What do women who find themselves pregnant and in need of support in Texas need, rather than expanded access to abortion, which California just went for and New York’s governor insists on

HORNE: Texas funds a fantastic program called Alternatives to Abortion, which provides support and resources for pregnant women and through the first year of their child’s life. The program funding is increased with every budget, and we hope that that that will continue as Texas women continue to need support. 


LOPEZ: Do you think Wendy Davis could wind up governor? What worries you about that prospect? 

HORNE: I think Texas has shown a remarkable preference for Attorney General Greg Abbott — not only does his funding come from donors in the state, but a recent Democratic-leaning polling group put him 15 points ahead of Davis. Obviously the thought of Governor Davis is alarming: Her record on life proves she would veto any pro-life measure that came to her desk and I have no doubt she would do all she could to promote abortion expansion in Texas. Fortunately, we still have strong pro-life majorities in the Texas House and Senate, so passing anything that expanded abortion would prove very difficult. Her campaign is one we take seriously, and the horrors of having a Governor Davis is giving us renewed vigor as we expose her record and support Greg Abbott — who, as attorney general, defended the sonogram law and is currently fighting to see HB 2, the new law, properly enforced.


– Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.