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Combs Switches, Says She Opposes Abortion

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune
Comptroller Susan Combs giving the biennial revenue estimate in Austin January 10, 2011.

Comptroller Susan Combs has switched her position on abortion rights, from pro-choice to pro-life, she said in an interview with The Texas Tribune this morning.

Combs and her husband Joe also contributed $5,000 to the South Austin Crisis Pregnancy Center. Combs said the state needs to focus its policies on more counseling for young women.

Combs said flatly that she has changed her position on the abortion issue, moving from a "pro-choice, but not pro-abortion" position to opposition to abortions. "I’m unequivocal about it. I was wrong," she said.

She said abortion is too often used as a form of birth control. "I just find it morally repugnant," she said. Combs said she supported the sonogram bill in the Legislature — it requires doctors to make video and audio sonograms available to pregnant women before performing abortions — and said she will support efforts to end any government funding for the procedures.

Would she support programs that provide contraception and other services? "I think it's important to counsel young women," she said.

Combs has talked about running for another state office when her term as comptroller is up in 2014 — lieutenant governor is mentioned most often — but said her position on abortion has been developing for some time and isn't keyed to her political ambitions.

"Either people believe I am telling them the straight, unvarnished truth or they don't," she said.

The Texas Tribune will post an edited transcript of the interview tomorrow morning.

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