Ted Cruz; Beto O'Rourke (AP/Salon)

Anti-abortion activist explains why she's voting Democrat: Kavanaugh was "the last straw"

"I started to see, as an independent, just how deep the GOP had its hooks in the pro-life movement"


Shira Tarlo
October 31, 2018 6:59PM (UTC)

A Texas voter who describes herself as a "pro-life feminist" said she said she has cast a ballot for Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic challenger attempting to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas — even though O'Rourke supports a woman's right to choose to have an abortion.

In a column for The Dallas Morning News, Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, a founder of "pro-life feminist" group called New Wave Feminists, explained she was turned off from voting for Cruz because she saw the way conservative politicians "used unborn children's lives to get out the vote but then often forgot about those lives soon after" and elected President Donald Trump — despite his treatment of women, which she called "an absolute deal-breaker" — just "so they could get their Supreme Court Seats."

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"And then I watched as they got two of those seats, and how they boasted that all of their compromise had been worth it because we now have a 'pro-life' advantage on the Supreme Court and could possibly overturn Roe vs. Wade. All the while, Sen. Susan Collins was explaining that she voted yes to Kavanaugh only because he assured her Roe was 'settled law,'" Herndon-De La Rosa wrote.

"This was the last straw for me. That's when the blinders came all the way off," she continued. "This idea of eliminating abortion by simply making it illegal is far too low of a bar to set."

"Abortion becomes unnecessary when women have so much support from within their community that the one violent choice never even becomes an option in their minds,"Herndon-De La Rosa continued. "Abortion becomes unthinkable when women of color realize that having their children will not cost them their own lives because we have men like O'Rourke actually addressing the disproportionate number of minorities and children dying during childbirth."

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She said she does not believes that O'Rourke is "pro-abortion," even though he's "pro-choice," and believes he is "willing to work with the other side" to offer women "better alternatives."

"That's why I, as a pro-life feminist, voted for Beto knowing full well it might be the end of my career, because women and children are worth that to me," Herndon-De La Rosa concluded.

A recent poll found that O'Rourke trails his Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz by five points — 46 to 51 percentage points. As my colleague Matthew Rozsa wrote, "While this five point margin is reduced from the nine point margin that separated the two candidates on October 11, when Cruz was ahead of O'Rourke by 54 percent to 45 percent, it is still nowhere near where it needs to be for O'Rourke to have a statistically realistic chance of upsetting Cruz on Election Day next Tuesday, at least without the polls proving to have been in significant error."

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Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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