Mothers in Texas have organized to defeat anti-LGBTQ+, antichoice, pro-gun Gov. Greg Abbott.
Their group, Mothers Against Greg Abbott, grew out of a protest by one mom, Nancy Thompson, last year when the Texas Education Agency put out guidance saying schools didn't have to inform parents when someone in the school tests positive for COVID-19. She held a protest sign in front of the Texas capitol in Austin, and a picture of her action was shared widely on social media, giving rise to the group.
Mothers Against Greg Abbott, with an acronym that gives a twist to Donald Trump's "MAGA," has found much more to oppose in the Republican governor's policies: the "constitutional carry" law that allows Texans to carry a handgun without a license; the failure of the state's power grid last winter; harsh anti-abortion laws; statewide restrictions on teaching about racism, along with local efforts to keep LGBTQ-inclusive materials away from students; and, of course, his order that parents who allow their transgender children access to gender-affirming care be investigated for child abuse, an order partially blocked while lawsuits against it proceed.
As Abbott seeks a third term as governor this year, the mothers' group has endorsed his Democratic opponent, Beto O'Rourke. O'Rourke is a former U.S. representative who almost defeated Ted Cruz in a run for U.S. Senate in 2018 and briefly sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The group released an ad Friday that has now racked up almost 3 million views on Twitter. It features several mothers and lines including the following: "They say nothing changes in Texas politics until it does. ... Till the Texas power grid failed and our families froze without water and electricity. Until white Texas politicians removed our history from the classroom. Till they made it legal to buy a gun without a permit and openly carry it. Till Texas politicians put a $10,000 bounty on anyone who helped a woman get an abortion. Till we were called child abusers for loving and supporting our transgender children. Till Texas school boards banned books by Black and LGBTQ authors. Till our loved ones died when Texas politicians fought mask and vaccine mandates during the worst pandemic in over 100 years."
\u201cThey say nothing happens in Texas politics, till it does. Till you piss off the Texas Women! And now we are ready to fight! #Nothingchanges\u201d
— Mothers Against Greg Abbott PAC (@Mothers Against Greg Abbott PAC)
"Mothers across Texas are so mad at Greg Abbott and the GOP's policies that every single time he opens up his mouth, he alienates a new group of parents," Thompson told Newsweek. "What is happening right now in Texas isn't even Republican ... it's the extremes of the party. They're trying to totally gain control over our personal rights and freedoms and the safety that we need in Texas for our families to be able to thrive."
Her group includes Democrats, Republicans, and independents and is trying to reach middle-of-the-road voters to oppose Abbott, she said. It endorsed O'Rourke as soon as he announced his run for governor last year. "We think that he is going to continue to fight for every single Texan," she said.