Three of Gov. Abbott’s primary challengers sat down with Texas Scorecard as part of our Uncut Conversations series to discuss a variety of issues, including their thoughts on abortion.

Former State Sen. Don Huffines described his plans to outlaw abortion across the state and explained his views on when life begins.

“I wouldn’t rest until I knew that there were no more abortions,” said Huffines. “I believe in life from conception to natural death, no exceptions. A person at six weeks old—or a person at six months old or 60 years old—is still a person. If you take that life, the results are the same whether it’s in the womb or out of the womb.”

Media personality Chad Prather expressed his belief that Texas’ newly passed Heartbeat Act doesn’t go far enough. The bill prohibits killing a child in the womb after their heartbeat has been detected, but it offers no protections for the first few weeks of life.

“For me, the Heartbeat Bill is a step in the right direction, but I believe in the abolition of abortion,” said Prather. “As controversial as that may sound, I don’t believe that calling it abortion cleans up the act of murder in any way, shape, or form. I don’t think that we can continue to expect God’s blessing or providence in our future if we continue to defend such a thing.”

Prather also stated that he would not support any exceptions when outlawing abortion, including in the case of rape.

“I’ve heard all the arguments, everything from rape, or the back alley things. Look, the guilt of murder on top of the ignominy of rape doesn’t help a woman,” said Prather. “You say ‘back alley abortions.’ Let’s call them what they are: back alley murders. Just because you do it in a sterile clinic doesn’t make it right.”

Former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West expressed similar views on the issue and explained why he feels personally invested in banning abortion throughout the state.

“When it comes to murdering unborn babies in the womb, that’s a real personal issue for me because this has the most detrimental effect on the black community,” said West. “The second largest facility for murdering unborn babies in the world is located in Texas; it’s in Houston. The Planned Parenthood clinic that’s on I-45 on the south side in a black neighborhood. … I want to see that Planned Parenthood clinic close down.”

However, when asked if he would support the total abolition of abortion, West stated that he preferred an exception in cases of rape and compared the issue to the recent debate surrounding vaccines.

“I would hope that we are raising our young women that even in that case, they will make the right decision,” said West. “I just think that we have to be considerate when a woman’s body is violated because we just had a discussion about telling people that they have to get an injection in their body. If someone’s body has been used as part of a crime, I think we need to be more considerate about that.”

All of the conversations with the gubernatorial candidates can be viewed here.

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.