TEXAS, USA — The resounding defeat of the abortion referendum in Kansas continues to reverberate across the nation. And Texas Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher believes what happened in Kansas, won’t stay in Kansas.
“The referendum in Kansas is consistent with what we’ve seen in Texas which is a majority of voters in the state want to make sure that women have access to abortion care when they need it,” the Democrat from Houston said on Inside Texas Politics.
In Kansas, voters had a direct choice whether they wanted to remove that state’s constitutional right to an abortion. They turned out in large numbers, much larger than expected, to preserve that right. In fact, they rejected the referendum by an 18-point margin, 59 – 41, in one of the country’s most conservative states.
Current Kansas law allows most abortions to take place up to 22 weeks in a pregnancy.
That is not the case in Texas, where lawmakers passed the controversial heartbeat bill in 2021 and allowed a pre-Roe ban on abortion to stand the moment the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe with its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization when the Justices ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not provide the right to an abortion.
Congresswoman Fletcher says the majority of Texas voters also want to make sure women have access to abortions when they need it.
“We believe in our individual liberty and autonomy and freedom to make our own choices as Texans. And I do think that Texans are motivated and understand the stakes,” she said
A University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll from last month found that only 15% of Texans supported a complete ban on abortion access in our state. And that lack of desire would get no higher than 36% to end access to abortion across a variety of circumstances, from pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, to the health of the mother, to a married woman just not wanting to have another child.
Going even further, the poll found that a whopping 88% said women should have access to birth control.
And the Texas poll was conducted primarily in the week before the landmark Supreme Court ruling.
Congresswoman Fletcher introduced a bill (H.R. 8297) last month that would protect the right to travel to another state for an abortion. While the legislation passed the House, its future is uncertain in the Senate. But the Democrat says the need for the protection is clear.
“Now we’re hearing legislators in our state say that they want to prevent women from leaving the state to seek that care in states where it’s legal,” said the Democrat. “So, it’s very important that we fight back against these measures that, again, are not the views of the majority of Texans.”
Congresswoman Fletcher also discusses her attempts to secure new funding sources for the “Ike Dike” now that the House and Senate have both approved the project. Listen to her interview on Inside Texas Politics to learn more about the hurricane protection project in the Houston-Galveston region.