It’s Mothers Against Greg Abbott, and it’s already working to turn out votes for Abbott opponent Beto O’Rourke in the November election.
The Texas Tribune calls the Political Action Committee a “potent force” with some 50,000 members on Facebook, $400,000 in donations, and hard-hitting viral social media ads.
It was launched almost a year ago on an extremely small scale by Austin mom Nancy Thompson. She was initially incensed by Abbott’s ban on COVID mask mandates, which put her medically vulnerable son at risk.
“Honestly, I just didn’t give a shit anymore,” Thompson told the Tribune about the time she spent hours, alone, holding a sign in front of the state Capitol reading: “Mothers Against Greg Abbott.”
“I was just done. I was so done,” Thompson said.
Thompson is a former Republican. But she wants her MAGA to be “a mix of Democrats, moderate Republicans and independents who are ready to work together for change for Texas,” she told the Tribune.
“We’re just trying to organize the army and make it super accessible to everyday Texans like me, who may not be super involved in politics — until you’re super involved in politics,” Thompson explained.
The new MAGA is another sign of the growing election influence of women-led political interest groups. The pro-choice Kansans for Constitutional Freedom pulled off a huge surprise win for abortion rights in that state early this month when voters rejected a referendum that would have removed abortion protections from the state constitution
Abortion rights in Texas, where abortion is banned after about six weeks — before many women even know they’re pregnant — also are critical to the new MAGA.
One of the group’s most powerful, popular ads involves a somber, fictional scene with a pregnant women, her husband and her doctor, who explains that a decision has to made about the pregnancy because the baby will live only a few hours after birth due to a “catastrophic brain abnormality.”
“There’s only one person who can make this choice,” the doctor tells the woman — then he calls Gov. Abbott.
After he hangs up, he tells the couple: “Yeah, that’s gonna be a no. Best of luck to you!”
The ad has captured more than 7 million views on Twitter in the two weeks since it was posted.
Texas women no longer have a choice to make their most personal decision. This is wrong! Texans need to fight back and vote for Democrats this November and vote against TxGOP. Vote them out!#WhoseChoice#MAGAtheGood#WomensRights#TxLegepic.twitter.com/vHyHMVbBTa
— Mothers Against Greg Abbott PAC (@MomsAGAbbott) July 25, 2022
O’Rourke, Abbott’s Democratic opponent, told MAGA members on Monday that their work — and their ads — are “the talk of the town” wherever he campaigns, the Texas Tribune reported. O’Rourke is polling 6 points ahead of Abbott among likely female voters, the Tribune noted.
As the final campaign season heats up, Thompson is organizing chapters throughout Texas and scrambling to put the group’s compelling ads on TV.
On Monday, Mothers Against Greg Abbott announced it had erected five billboards across the state criticizing Abbott over his response to the Uvalde school shooting. Abbott, who defiantly rejects gun safety legislation, said the state’s deadliest school shooting, which killed 19 children and two teachers, “could have been worse.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.