After the Supreme Court let stand Texas H.B. 1515, the Heartbeat Law, leftists took to social media to do what they do best: spew abuse and incandescent rage. Many attacked the “men” who passed that law, and it’s as true as can be that Gov. Greg Abbott is in fact a man and he signed the bill into law after the legislature passed it.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki is getting credit in the media for slamming a male reporter for asking about the law, furthering the implication that only men pass pro-life laws. Psaki’s attitude also implies that men have no role in pregnancy, and therefore should get no say, and that the default position for women is to support abortion.
We’ll not dwell on the fact that leftists suddenly decided gender is a real thing when it suits them, to note something even more interesting: The Texas pro-life movement is led primarily by women. Many of these women have dedicated decades to the pro-life cause, facing toxic, misogynistic abuse on social media, dishonesty from the media, and attacks from the left up to and including the White House along the way. These women are in effect being canceled by those who pretend they’re not genuine thinkers and leaders.
Outside of Texas, most have never heard of state Rep. Shelby Slawson yet. She’s a freshman state representative from deep in the heart of Texas, Stephenville. State Sen. Bryan Hughes authored the Heartbeat Bill in the Senate, but state Rep. Slawson was its bearer and author in the House.
In House testimony, state Rep. Slawson delivered passionate arguments in favor of the bill, with several other respected pro-life legislators — all women — standing behind her. Her testimony starts at three hours, 11 minutes in this video. She tells the story of how doctors told a young woman in North Texas that her baby was not developing normally, despite it having a heartbeat. The doctor recommended aborting the baby, as did a second doctor. The mother carried that baby despite the dire prognosis, and the baby was born healthy and normal, “with whisps of red hair.”
That baby grew up to be state Rep. Shelby Slawson, author of the Texas Heartbeat Act. The left often prizes one’s “lived experience.” Shouldn’t Shelby Slawson’s lived experience count?
I spoke with state Rep. Slawson and asked her about getting the bill passed and what it means.
“We’re seeing this emergence of the pro-life movement among younger people,” Swanson, 44, said. “They’re saying we are the pro-life movement. What started in Texas with Roe v Wade is being flipped on its head — in Texas.” She added that “Texas is now the first state in the nation with a heartbeat law in effect,” and that’s creating excitement among the movement nationwide. Florida, South Dakota, and several other states have reached out about passing a similar law now that the Supreme Court has allowed the Texas law to stand, Swanson said.
In May 2021, Slawson appeared on the Texas House Republican Caucus podcast and described her passion for getting the Heartbeat Bill passed.
“Some things we touch are of an eternal consequence,” Slawson said. “This is one of them.”
State Rep. Slawson is a graduate of the University of Texas Dallas, and UT-Austin, where she earned her Doctorate of Juris Prudence.
State Rep. Slawson distinguished herself in the legislature beyond the Heartbeat Act. She was the first freshman to be appointed to both the House State Affairs Committee and the powerful Calendars Committee since 1975, indicating the leadership qualities her peers, male and female, saw in her from day one.
In June, Rice University rated her one of the most conservative legislators in the Texas lege. Rep. Slawson proudly touted this on her Facebook page.
The conservative index published by Rice University was released today and I am THRILLED to report that as your State Representative I ranked as the MOST CONSERVATIVE WOMAN in the Texas House and Top 12 conservative overall!
This index is a neutrally-compiled statistical analysis of all non-lopsided votes taken during session. The Rice professor publishing it doesn’t care who ranks as the best or the worst, but our district sure cares!
After a near decade of our district rep rating at the bottom of the index every session, we’ve now achieved a conservative distinction of Most Improved HD by shooting from the bottom of the list of Rs up to #12!!
State Rep. Shelby Slawson has already laid down a marker as a current leader and one to keep an eye on for the future. She is far from alone as a woman leading the pro-life movement in Texas. Frankly, there are too many Lone Star leaders around the state to fit into one article.
Kyleen Wright is also one of Texas’ best-known and strongest pro-life advocates. Wright leads Texans for Life Coalition and has for many years. TLC is the largest and oldest pro-life organization in Texas, founded in 1974. TLC’s entire leadership team is made up of women, in fact. Along with Wright, Betty Garcia and Jacqulyn Dudasko lead the organization. TLC works tirelessly in the legislature and with the grassroots to advocate for life. Cathie Adams is the former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas and of the Texas Eagle Forum. Adams continues to be a strong pro-life voice in Texas, as she has been for decades. Texas pro-life leaders span the state and multiple generations and include businesswoman Adrienne Pena Garza, head of the Hidalgo County Republican Party, and Mayra Flores, candidate for U.S. Congress.
State Sen. Donna Campbell first came to the Texas legislature in 2012 when she defeated incumbent Sen. Jeff Wentworth in the Republican primary in Senate District 25. Dr. Campbell, M.D., is an emergency room doctor in New Braunfels.
Senator Campbell completed her Masters of Nursing from Texas Woman’s University and received her M.D. from Texas Tech University, where she was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the honor society for medical schools. She completed her residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and was awarded the prestigious Morton Award as an outstanding resident in ophthalmology.
Sen. Campbell is also a decorated conservative legislator who led passage of the abortion omnibus bill, S.B. 2, in the 2013 legislative session. Sen. Campbell is endorsed by Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life PAC.
Abby Johnson is a well-known pro-life leader nationwide. Johnson’s story is one of the most compelling in the life issue. Early in her career, Johnson worked at Planned Parenthood for eight years. She became a clinic director in Bryan/College Station, Texas. Everything in her world changed one day when Johnson saw what abortion actually is and does.
All of that changed on September 26, 2009 when Abby was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. She watched in horror as a 13 week baby fought for, and ultimately lost, its life at the hand of the abortionist.
At that moment, she fully realized what abortion actually was and what she had dedicated her life to. As it washed over Abby, a dramatic transformation had occurred. Desperate and confused, Abby sought help from a local pro-life group. She swore that she would begin to advocate for life in the womb and expose abortion for what it truly is.
Planned Parenthood did not take Abby’s departure sitting down. The organization is fully aware the workers who leave are their greatest threat. They took immediate action to silence Abby with a gag order and brought her to court. The lawsuit was quickly seen as the sham it was and it was ultimately thrown out of court.
Since then, Abby Johnson is a fierce and fearless pro-life advocate. Her story was depicted in the hit 2019 movie Unplanned, starring Ashley Bratcher — who is also pro-life.
The names above should not be read as an exhaustive list. These women and countless others lead the pro-life movement in Texas. The media should stop canceling them and understand who they are and why they believe what they believe. They deserve to be heard.