How elected officials, politicians in Texas reacted to SCOTUS overturning of Roe v. Wade

Bexar County DA says he won’t prosecute people for seeking health care, AG Ken Paxton sends staff home to celebrate

From left, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan.

SAN ANTONIO – A landmark decision on Friday from the Supreme Court of the United States sent shockwaves through the country. The court decided that abortion is not a constitutionally protected right.

In Texas, the ruling triggers a previously passed state law that in 30 days will “ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization, except in rare cases to save the life of a pregnant patient or prevent ‘substantial impairment of major bodily function,’” according to the Texas Tribune.

For their part, elected officials and politicians in Texas responded with a range of statements about the ruling and imminent outlawing of abortion in one of the largest U.S. states. (We will continue updating this article with responses from state and local elected officials.)

Gov. Greg Abbott

“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.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke

“We will overcome this decision in Texas by winning political power.”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

“Today is a tremendous day for life. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization adheres to the constitution and returns the decision on abortion back to the states. Because of our trigger bill that we passed last year, in 30 days, abortion will be banned in Texas. I thank God for delivering us this day, and I am so proud that Texas has taken the lead to ensure that such evil can no longer live in our state.

“Since I first took office in 2007, protecting life has been my top priority. In 2011, I authored the Sonogram Law, and in 2021, I was proud to lead the Texas Senate in passing the Heartbeat Act, which dramatically reduced the number of abortions that occur in Texas.

“Media estimates report that as many as 62 million innocent lives have been ended since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973. Words cannot do that unfathomable number justice. The left will surely fight to keep the abortion industry alive in Texas, but they will fail.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling is an acknowledgement of the truth: when an abortion is performed, a human life is ended. This watershed victory is not just a victory for innocent life, but a victory for all of humanity.”

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg

“Today’s SCOTUS ruling is an attack on the health and independence of women, people of color and the disadvantaged. Access to health care, including abortion, is a human right. Criminalizing those who seek basic care will create a hostile and harmful future for far too many,” Nirenberg wrote.

Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Friday that he’s sending all agency staff home early and moving to make the day an annual agency holiday.

“SCOTUS just overruled Roe & Casey, ending one of the most morally & legally corrupt eras in US history. Praise the Lord. Abortion is now illegal in Texas. And today I’m closing my office—and making it an annual holiday—as a memorial to the 70 million lives lost bc of abortion.”

House Speaker Dade Phelan

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales

DA Gonzales spoke at a press conference shortly after the ruling was handed down.

“I will endeavor to ensure that no one in our county is ever prosecuted because they go to a hospital or urgent care facility,” he wrote in a statement.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn

“Today, the Court has restored one of the core principles of our Constitution with this landmark ruling. This decision correctly returns the authority of states to decide the limits on abortion and will save countless innocent lives. I commend the Justices for not bowing to the vicious intimidation campaign waged by the radical Left. I join Texans in celebrating this historic victory for life and the rule of law.”

State Sen. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio

“This morning the Supreme Court of the United States made the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision which allowed women access to medical care. Texas has taken the lead to ensure that those living in our State have no protection. Moreover, Justice Thomas’ statements to review same-sex relationships, marriage, and access to contraception is deplorable.Whether you are a child in a classroom, a trans-student, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, a person of color, or a woman, Texas leadership has shown time and time again that our lives are not a priority. This decision is a direct attack on anyone who can become pregnant.For those who need assistance or questions on where to access medical care, please reach out to the following:

“Planned Parenthood: 1-800-230-PLANJane’s Due Process: 1-866-999-5263Lilith Fund: 1-877-659-4304

“We stand angrily in solidarity with you all.”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz

“The Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case, reversing Roe v. Wade, is nothing short of a massive victory for life, and it will save the lives of millions of innocent babies,” Cruz wrote in a thread on Twitter.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio

“.@GregAbbott_TX, there were 19 kids in #Uvalde who deserved to live and there are millions of kids in #Texas who deserve to live. Your silence on gun safety speaks to how you really feel about the sanctity of innocent lives,” Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde in the state Senate, wrote on Twitter.

State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels

“After years of prayer and passing legislation to protect innocent, unborn lives, I am extremely proud that the U.S. Supreme Court made the right decision in overturning Roe v. Wade this morning. I thank God and I’m proud to know that Texas will always fight for unborn children.”

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio

State Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park


About the Author:

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. Previously, he worked at the San Antonio Express-News and the Texas Observer.