Press Statement on Abortion, April 16, 1987
Abortion has been referred to as the most contentious issue of the 1980s. The linked issues of abortion and right to life were very hot topics during Governor Clements' second term. Governor Clements issued this press release three months into the term in which he attempted to assure the citizens of Texas where he stood on the issue of abortion. In other press releases and letters to those who wrote him on this topic, Clements indicated that he stood with President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush in opposing abortion except in those cases where the mother's life was in danger or in which the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.
Missouri and other states passed laws placing restrictions on women's rights to abortion. A lawsuit challenging the Missouri law was filed and ultimately found its way to the United States Supreme Court. The nation's highest court issued its decision on the case usually given as Missouri v. Reproductive Health Services in July 1989. Through the entire term, but especially after the Supreme Court ruling, thousands of citizens wrote to Governor Clements on the issue of abortion. Many of them urged him to call a special session of the Texas Legislature to make changes in the Texas law to add restrictions on abortions allowed in the recent Supreme Court ruling.