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Rochelle Garza, Texas AG Ken Paxton's challenger, pledges to fight for reproductive rights

Courtesy: Rochelle Garza

Rochelle Garza, the Democratic nominee for Texas attorney general, pledged on Friday to fight for reproductive rights and denounced the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe V. Wade.

“We have to fight back at the end of the day. That's going to take everybody. That's going to take people voting in November and making sure that they elect leaders that are pro-choice and that are going to look out for them,” she said.

Garza predicted that reproductive health is going to be a campaign issue as she runs to defeat Republican Ken Paxton. But she said Roe would also impact other races favoring Democrats in November.

“We need a new legislature. We need new statewide leadership. We need a new governor (and) lieutenant governor. We need to fight for us because these folks that are in office don't care about us,” she said.

Paxton issued a statement on Friday celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision. He also issued an official advisory that said the Texas "trigger law" and its 30 day countdown to a state ban on abortion won’t take effect until the Supreme Court officially posts its judgment.

“So while it is clear that the Act will take effect, we cannot calculate exactly when until the Court issues its judgment. My office will publicly announce an effective date for the Act as soon as possible — and we look forward to doing so,” according to Paxton's advisory.

It also pointed out that some prosecutors may choose not to wait for the trigger law to kick in and start immediately pursuing criminal prosecutions “based on violations of Texas abortion prohibitions predating Roe that were never repealed by the Texas Legislature. Although these statutes were unenforceable while Roe was on the books, they are still Texas law. Under these pre-Roe statutes, abortion providers could be criminally liable for providing abortions starting today.”

Garza said this legal directive from Paxton is deliberately misleading.

“I know there's a lot of confusion, and it's intended to really harm people and to stop them from seeking care,” she said.

Garza said her daughter is three months old, and “she officially has less rights in the state of Texas and in this country than I did.”

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi