At least 32 Republican candidates on the November 6 ballot for the Texas House of Representatives have suggested that they would not support a woman’s right to seek an abortion even if she became pregnant as a result of rape or incest. According to answers on a voter guide sponsored by several religious-right groups in Texas, 12 of those 32 GOP House candidates said abortion should not be permitted under any “extenuating” circumstances at all. This position is consistent with the Texas Republican Party platform, which includes no exceptions for abortion and declares: “All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”
Twenty of those 32 Republican House candidates said they would permit abortion only if the woman’s life or physical health were in danger. Three other GOP candidates said they would allow abortion only in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the woman. Another would allow abortion in cases of rape or to save the life of the woman. Another opposed abortion except in cases of rape or incest but did not list the life or health of the woman. Five candidates either did not answer the question or simply said they oppose abortion or are “pro-life,” without indicating whether they would allow abortions in certain circumstances.
Candidates were responding to this survey question: “Should abortion be allowed under extenuating circumstances? If so, what circumstances?”
The survey was sponsored by three Texas-based religious-right groups and the American Family Association (AFA), a Mississippi-based organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group. Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked the AFA to organize his prayer extravaganza in Houston in August 2011, an event that occurred just a week before the governor declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. The Texas groups involved in the voter guide project are Texas Eagle Forum, Heritage Alliance and Liberty Institute/Texas Values.
The groups appears to have surveyed candidates only in contested races for the 150-seat House of Representatives. None of the Democratic candidates responded, while 42 Republicans did so. Of those 42, 18 are incumbents or face no Democratic opposition on the November ballot.
A number of the Texas House’s most socially conservative Republican incumbents either did not receive a survey (because their races are not contested) or did not respond to it.
GOP candidates for the Texas House who oppose abortion without any exceptions (I = incumbent; ND = no Democratic opponent):
District 12 Kyle Kacal
District 23 Wayne Faircloth
District 26 Rick Miller
District 29 Ed Thompson
District 33 Scott Turner
District 87 Four Price (I)
District 92 Jonathan Strickland (ND)
District 97 Craig Goldman
District 118 Robert Casias
District 125 Alma Perez Jackson
District 133 Jim Murphy (I) (ND)
District 141 Michael Bunch
GOP candidates for the Texas House who allow abortion only if a woman’s physical health or life were in danger:
District 6 Matt Schaefer (ND)
District 15 Steve Toth
District 24 Greg Bonnen
District 47 Paul Workman (I)
District 61 Phil King (I) (ND)
District 65 Ron Simmons
District 69 James Frank (ND)
District 74 Thomas Kincaid
District 93 Matt Krause
District 96 Bill Zedler (I) (ND)
District 98 Giovanni Capriglione (ND)
District 107 Kenneth Sheets (I)
District 113 Cindy Burkett (I) (ND)
District 115 Bennett Ratliff
District 127 Dan Huberty (I)
District 132 Bill Calligari (I) (ND)
District 136 Tony Dale
District 143 Doug Weiskopf
District 149 Dianne Williams
District 150 Debbie Riddle (I)
The “voter guide,” along with “grades” given to candidates by the sponsoring groups, is available here.