Actor Matthew McConaughey announced he will not run for governor of the state of Texas in 2022 after months of speculation. His decision comes after he got flac from pro-life adocates for criticizing the state’s new abortion ban that has saved thousands of babies from abortion.
“Over the past two years, I’ve been working on the answer to the question of how I can be most useful in this life going forward,” the Austin resident said in a video posted to Twitter. “One category of service I’ve been exploring is politics. Been considering a run for governor of Texas.”
McConaughey said he had been studying politics in Texas and the country as a whole. While he admitted the idea of seeking elected office was “humbling and inspiring,” McConaughey said he ultimately decided it was not the path to go down “at the moment.”
Instead of launching a campaign, McConaughey said he would continue to invest in “entrepreneurs, businesses, and foundations” he believes are “creating pathways for people to succeed in life.”
“To the leaders and the servants out there and the leader and servant in each one of us, cheers to you,” he said as the video neared its end. “In the meantimes and all times and until next time, just keep living.”
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Earlier this month, McConaughey criticized the Texas heartbeat law as “overly aggressive” in an interview this week, even though the pro-life legislation is saving babies’ lives.
Speaking with the New York Times, McConaughey (“A Time to Kill,” “The Wedding Planner”) said he does not like the law because it prohibits abortions before some women even know they are pregnant, Mediaite reports.
“The last abortion law in Texas feels overly aggressive to me. It doesn’t seem to open up any room for a sensible choice to be made at the right time,” McConaughey said. “I believe it’s six weeks.”
The Texas heartbeat law went into effect Sept. 1, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Unique from other states, the Texas law includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law and those who help them.
Pro-life leaders estimate the law already has saved thousands of unborn babies’ lives, and several recent polls show a majority of Texans and Americans support the law.
But McConaughey, a Texas resident who is considering running for governor, repeatedly has said he does not.
“We gotta take context with each situation and each person’s situation — each woman’s situation. You know, you hear about someone who gets raped,” he added, hesitating before saying the word “raped.”
“That’s not a woman’s choice. That’s not a place to say, ‘Oh, you need to bring that child into this world,’ I don’t believe,” he continued. “Abortion is one of those places where we’re asked as humans to play God, and that’s not necessarily our responsibility and our place.”
McConaughey also criticized the pro-life law in another interview with the New York Times in October, saying he has “been trying to figure how to play God” on the abortion issue but he is uncomfortable with the law.
“This latest move by Texas, it’s a little bit of a – feels a little bit like a back and front, sort of Roe v. Wade loophole,” he said. “It feels a little juvenile in its implementation to me.”
He also expressed concerns that the law does not allow abortions on unborn babies conceived in rape or incest.
“And also, six weeks,” he said. “Six weeks? If you’re saying that your discussion of abortion is even on the table to consider, six weeks does not really make that a honest consideration.”
When asked to describe his position on abortion, McConaughey responded, “I’m not going to come out and tell you right now on this show, here’s where I stand on abortion.”
By six weeks of pregnancy, an unborn baby already has a beating heart and his/her own DNA, separate and unique from the mother’s. The baby’s limbs and major organs are beginning to form, and he/she can move around and respond to light touch. Scientists even have detected unborn babies’ brain waves as early as 6 1/2 weeks after conception, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
About a dozen states have passed heartbeat laws to protect unborn babies from abortion, but Texas is the first to be allowed to enforce its law. Whether the law will remain in effect or ultimately be upheld as constitutional in court remains uncertain. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the Biden administration’s request to block the law, but it has not ruled yet.
An October poll from the University of Houston/Texas Southern University found a solid 55 percent of Texas residents support the life-saving legislation.