Women should ‘absolutely’ be punished for having abortions, Texas lawmaker says on video

U.S. Rep. Ron Wright recently said on a video that he believes women who have abortions should be punished.

In the May 30 video, recently released by an abortion rights group, the Arlington Republican is asked whether women who have abortions should face consequences.

“Of course they should,” the 66-year-old said on the video released by Reproaction, which has drawn national media attention.

Wright’s office on Friday said he is “unavailable for an interview or comment at this time” but issued a statement noting that, despite what was said on the video, his comments were directed toward those who perform abortions.

The video features less than 10 seconds of Wright’s comments.

It begins with Wright talking about abortions, and that: “As far as I’m concerned, they committed murder.”

When asked if women should be punished for that, he responded: “Of course they should.”

Wright was asked: “Women should be punished for having abortions?” His response: “Absolutely.”

The interview was then cut off by one of Wright’s staff members.

In Wright’s statement, he said that his “heart goes out to women who have had abortions ... and those who perform the abortions should be held responsible.”

“I will not cower from pro-abortion radicals who push an agenda of death,” the statement continued. “Abortion is wrong.”

In response to the video, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Aimee Arrambide issued a statement about Wright and state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, who during the recent legislative session unsuccessfully proposed criminalizing abortion.

“Anti-abortion extremists like Congressman Wright and Representative Tony Tinderholt do not represent the values of North Texans,” she wrote. “Congressman Wright declaring that women should be punished for having abortions is not a hypothetical.”

Wright, a former Arlington City Council member and former Tarrant County Tax Assessor Collector, was elected to Congress last year.

He represents District 6, which includes parts of east and southwest Fort Worth, most of Arlington and Mansfield and all of Ellis and Navarro counties.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.