In Texas Gov. Race, Women's Healthcare to Be Major Issue

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 11:44 AM

By Sharon Churcher

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Women's healthcare will play a major role in the 2014 election for Texas governor, with both parties hoping to play the issue to their advantage.

The Texas Tribune reported a new Planned Parenthood advocacy arm, the Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Action Fund (PPTV), is trying to drive voters to the polls by painting new state restrictions on abortion clinics as part of a broader Republican war on women's health.

Women "know what happened," PPTV Executive Director Yvonne Gutierrez told the newspaper. "These are the same women that lost access to healthcare. These are the women that were inside the Capitol [and] who were watching from home."

Local Republicans have fought back, founding a "female-centric advocacy organization," Red State Women.

"Women's health has advanced under Republican leadership," the group quotes Republican state Sen. Jane Nelson as saying. "Sadly our progress is being undermined by those trying to manufacture a so-called 'War on Women' — a purely political campaign designed to paint Republicans as anti-women."

The group's executive director, Cari Christman, insists that it also will defend the new abortion legislation, addressing "the issue head-on." Women "don't share the same values" as the Democrats who fought unsuccessfully to block the new restrictions, she said.

The partisan lines on the regulations are firmly drawn in the 2014 races for governor and lieutenant governor. Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Wendy Davis shot to national fame last summer after her 11-hour filibuster on the issue. Her Republican opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, is a fierce opponent of abortion.


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