AUSTIN, TX, August 8, 2013 ( – Catholic legislators who believe they can leave their faith outside the voting booth have been the bane of the church's hierarchy for a generation. Now, the bishops are hearing their message repeated by an unexpected source: A liberal Democratic lawmaker in Texas who says no true Catholic can support abortion on demand.

Texas State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, said he recently told a fellow Catholic Democrat, “There’s no way you can be Catholic and be pro-choice.” His only regret was the wording, saying he should have told State Senator Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston. “If you’re Catholic, based on the [Church's] teachings, you should be pro-life.”

Lucio, who was sworn into his first elective office in 1971, has been willing to do more than talk about being pro-life. When the 20-week fetal pain abortion ban came up for a vote before the state senate, Lucio was the only Democrat to vote yes. And when Governor Rick Perry signed the bill into law, Lucio was the only Democrat at his side. The retiring Republican said in a statement, “Sen. Lucio is a tireless advocate for the citizens of South Texas who puts his faith before party lines as he works to improve lives for future Texans.”


Unlike many who voted for the bill out of concern for women's health, Lucio says he voted yes in order to curb abortion outright and perhaps encourage adoption.

“My faith, it plays every bit a part of my decision-making,” he said.

Over the years, Lucio has voted for mandatory ultrasounds, a law requiring abortionists to report abuse, and tighter restrictions on abortion facilities.

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But he also chides Republicans who support the death penalty, saying, “If you’re pro-life, you’re pro life, or is there an exception?”

“I’ve been consistent when it comes to being against the death penalty and also abortion,” he said.

The next target of Lucio's lectures may be State Representative Eddie Lucio III, D-Harlingen, his son. Lucio III voted against the 20-week abortion bill.

The elder Lucio believes the Democrats' extreme pro-abortion policies are sinking its electoral hopes. “As long as we’re pro-choice as a party, I don’t believe we can win a statewide race,” he said, because “so many people — young, middle-aged and old — who are Democrats” are willing to “step across [the aisle] to vote for a Republican candidate who is pro-life.”

He said his largely Hispanic district, and faithful Latinos statewide, “are very much like me in terms of what they feel.” 


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