As Gov. Greg Abbott repeatedly refuses to act on several GOP priority child protection laws, Texas’ new pro-family organization continues to pressure him and top state lawmakers.

Two weeks ago, the American Principles Project released its “Big Family Pledge” ahead of the statewide March 1 primary election, to “help voters by getting candidates on the record regarding the most important issues facing America’s families.”

The nonprofit wrote:

Candidates who sign the pledge promise to “actively support legislation, litigation, and other efforts that would”:

  • Defend girls’ sports by prohibiting biological males from participating, including at the collegiate level;
  • Protect children from experimental “gender transition” procedures, including irreversible surgeries, chemical castration, and psychiatric neglect;
  • Let kids be kids and protect them from dangerous and divisive propaganda being taught in schools, such as critical race theory and gender ideology;
  • Safeguard children from exposure to pornography, obscenity, and indecency.
  • Protect life from conception to natural death.


So far, 37 candidates in races across Texas have signed the pledge, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, various state representatives and members of Congress, and three of Gov. Abbott’s Republican challengers (Allen West, Don Huffines, and Chad Prather). The governor has not signed.

The Issues

APP’s pledge comes amid troubling storylines in the state of Texas, particularly regarding child mutilation procedures.

The overall issue drew an international spotlight in Texas several years ago with the abuse case of Dallas-area 9-year-old James Younger, whose mother told him he was a girl and wanted to force him—against his father’s wishes—to take puberty blocker drugs and sterilizing cross-sex hormones, and eventually be castrated.

James’ case became a statewide rallying cry to ban “transgender” experiments on minors. In 2020, the Republican Party of Texas made the issue a legislative priority, and more than 2 million GOP primary voters supported the campaign. However, at the state Capitol in Austin last year, top Republican lawmakers repeatedly killed the effort, and Gov. Abbott refused to bring up the proposed protection laws in the Legislature’s three special sessions.

“The most alarming fact about these matters is that Gov. Greg Abbott is fully aware of these atrocities and has yet to do anything about it,” said Chris Hopper, APP’s Texas director. “He was asked to put these items up during all of his three special sessions, and yet he has continually skirted the issues. … Maybe it’s time Texas families serve an eviction notice rather than another term.”

“For too long, political leaders have been allowed to campaign on being ‘pro-family’ without making any specific promises to parents,” said APP President Terry Schilling. “That time is over.”

Hopper urged the governor and other candidates to sign the pledge to “make clear they are on the side of Texas families.”

“The primary vote is fast approaching, and parents are watching closely,” he concluded.

Early voting is currently underway and continues through Friday. Election Day is March 1.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.