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Two Texas Latino Democrats join forced to talk abortion in McAllen.
Two Texas Latino Democrats join forced to talk abortion in McAllen. Photos: From the Michelle Vallejo and Rochelle Garza campaigns.

Michelle Vallejo and Rochelle Garza join forces to host ‘Our Choice’ town hall

Michelle Vallejo and Rochelle Garza talked abortion rights in McAllen, Texas on Thursday night.

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With less than 25 days to go until the midterm elections on Nov. 8, races across the country are heating up and candidates alike are stepping up their campaigning in hopes of garnering more votes, specifically from those still undecided. 

In Texas, two Latina candidates that are on the ballot this November are stepping up their messaging about the critical issue of abortion. 

On Thursday night, Oct. 13, Michelle Vallejo, Democratic nominee for Texas Congressional District 15 in Congress and Rochelle Garza, Democratic nominee for Texas Attorney General, hosted the Our Choice town hall meeting in McAllen, Texas, to talk about abortion, reproductive rights, and health care. 

“Reproductive rights and abortion access has quickly become one of the top issues voters are bringing up to us at the doors,” Vallejo said in her announcement of the town hall. “We are hosting this town hall to make sure voters know where I stand on this issue and that I’ll fight for their rights once elected into Congress.” 

In the meeting, which had over 50 people in attendance, Garza spoke on how abortion is the main issue she hears from voters. She went on to highlight how, according to her, half of the rural counties in the Lone Star state do not have access to a gynecologist. Garza mentioned in the meeting that if elected, she plans to create a civil rights division to protect the safety and privacy of Texans. 

“Texas has been called one of the most dangerous places to be pregnant, and we are at the bottom of maternal mortality,” Garza said. “We are the worst with maternal mortality." 

The town hall showcased how Democrats are leaning into the abortion issue while Republicans hammer home crime, inflation, and border security as major issues.

At the meeting, Vallejo and Garza made sure to emphasize that the future of abortion is on the ballot in November. For their part, they said they would work on the state and federal level to protect all access to health care and abortion. 

“When it comes to federal office and when it comes to running for Congress, we need to hold on to the House majority, and the pathway to do that is through Texas District 15,” Vallejo said. “This race is the number one most competitive congressional seat in the state of Texas … and what we need is to hold this House majority because we need to pass legislation at the federal level that will protect our right to contraception.” 

Before taking questions from reporters, Garza went at the state’s current existing restrictions in regards to abortion access and health care following the Supreme Court’s overuling of Roe v. Wade this past Summer. 

“Right now, I’m not going to mince words about where we’re at, there is no access to abortion care,” Garza said. “A doctor cannot provide you care until you are septic, until you are on your deathbed — that is not who we are as Texans; we do not want our daughters to die.” 

She then declared that if elected as Attorney General, she would protect the constitutional rights of Texans. 

“I do not answer to the legislature or to the governor or to the lieutenant governor – I answer to the people of Texas, and the people of Texas are asking for this important privacy right to be respected and that’s what I will work towards as attorney general,” said Garza. 

Vallejo also spoke about what she would hope to do on the federal level to protect abortion in her state, which would involve passing legislation that would allow the reinstation rights to abortion and contraceptives such as that of the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 that passed the House but has not seen the light of day in the Senate. 

“Also, I want to reiterate that this issue is one that is critical across the board for every single voter in this district, not just women,” Vallejo said. 

Garza is looking to replace the incumbent Ken Paxton who has served in his role since 2015 while Vallejo is taking on Republican Monica De La Cruz. 

Election Day is Nov. 8.

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