Last Pro-Life Democrat in Congress Defeats His Pro-Abortion Challenger

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 7, 2022   |   9:37PM   |   Washington, DC

Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar, the last pro-life Democrat in the U.S. House, narrowly defeated his pro-abortion challenger in a May primary runoff election, according to a final vote count Monday.

The Dallas Morning News reports the official Democratic Party count shows Cuellar won by 281 votes, defeating candidate Jessica Cisneros in the South Texas district.

Immediately afterward, Cisneros, who received support from pro-abortion groups and leftist political leaders including U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, requested a recount, The Hill reports.

“Our community isn’t done fighting,” she said in a statement. “We are filing for a recount. With just under 0.6 percent of the vote symbolizing such stark differences for the future in South Texas, I owe it to our community to see this through to the end.”

However, Cuellar expressed confidence that he will maintain his victory in an interview with the Morning News.

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“My opponent has every legal right to call for a recount though she has previously stated that she won’t stop fighting until every vote has been counted,” Cuellar said. “Well, every vote has been counted, and our margin not only held but increased. … She has no path to victory and will not gain 281 votes.”

Cuellar is the last pro-life Democrat in the U.S. House. In September, he was the only Democrat who voted against a radical pro-abortion bill that would force states to legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Cuellar also supports the Hyde Amendment, which bans taxpayer funding for elective abortions in Medicaid and other federal programs.

In contrast, Cisneros supports the pro-abortion bill and wants to force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions.

Pro-abortion groups spent massive amounts of money to support Cisneros, but her radical pro-abortion views did not resonate with voters in the moderate Texas congressional district. According to the Texas Observer, Cisneros’s campaign received about $3 million from outside political PACs, including the pro-abortion group Emily’s List.

This is Cuellar’s third defeat of Cisneros. The Democrat candidate will face pro-life Republican Cassy Garcia in the November general election.

Abortion was a central focus of Cisneros’s campaign, and she received support from a number of pro-abortion groups, including Emily’s List, NARAL and Planned Parenthood. She also received endorsements from several big-name Democrats, including U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pramila Jayapal, Jamaal Bowman, Katie Porter and Ayanna Pressley.

However, some Democrats publicly and privately expressed concerns that Cisneros’s radical pro-abortion agenda could lose the district for the party if she won the primary, according to Politico.

Very few Americans share her views. A 2021 Marist poll found 58 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in the U.S. Additionally, 77 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in other countries. A 2016 Harvard/Politico poll found that most voters, including a strong majority of low-income voters, oppose taxpayer-funded abortions.

Recent polls also show public support for greater legal protections for unborn babies, such as heartbeat laws and bans on abortion after the first trimester.