Beto O’Rourke hosts pro-choice rally in East Austin

Sunday was the third day of rallies that have taken place across central Texas after Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke hosted an event at Pan American Neighborhood Park in East Austin where he was joined on stage by other city and state leaders.

"If this were about life then gun violence would not be the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in the state of Texas," said O’Rourke. "This is about controlling the lives and the bodies of the women of Texas." 

Pro-choice activists gathered to show support for O’Rourke’s policies and protest the recent SCOTUS decision.

"So many people think that the pro-choice movement is a bunch of young women - women who just want to live free lives and have abortions on-demand," said Alexis Marek, a Cedar Park resident. "No, it’s women like me, like so many of the people behind us, who have children and who are aware that there are things that can go wrong in even the most wanted pregnancy that are life-threatening."

At the event, O’Rourke and attendees pushed back on the state’s political climate as a whole, not just the abortion issue.


"We are proud to be Texans but not right now," said Katie Schaffer, an Austin resident.

Friday’s ruling triggers a state law signed by Governor Abbott that will go into effect in 30 days. The law essentially bans all abortions unless a woman’s life is at risk.

The governor released the following statement after the ruling:

"The U.S. Supreme Court correctly overturned Roe v. Wade and reinstated the right of states to protect innocent, unborn children. Texas is a pro-life state, and we have taken significant action to protect the sanctity of life. Texas has also prioritized supporting women's healthcare and expectant mothers in need to give them the necessary resources so that they can choose life for their child. I signed laws that extended Medicaid health care coverage to six months post-partum, appropriated $345 million for women's health programs, and invested more than $100 million toward our Alternatives to Abortion program. This critical program provides counseling, mentoring, care coordination, and material assistance, such as car seats, diapers, and housing to mothers in need. Texas will always fight for the innocent unborn, and I will continue working with the Texas legislature and all Texans to save every child from the ravages of abortion and help our expectant mothers in need."