For the past two elections, we have benefitted from a spirited contest of ideas over how our communities and families should be represented in the Texas House.

Twice, the voters have honored me to take our voice to the Legislature in Austin, where I am presently. So far this legislative session, I have co-authored and helped the House to pass “open carry” legislation to protect the Second Amendment, landmark border security legislation that will make Texas the first state in the nation with a permanent plan to secure the border, and a $4.87 billion tax cut package that includes the first sales tax cut in Texas history.

This past week, an individual announced his candidacy to challenge me for the Texas House.

While I welcome his candidacy, I feel compelled to respond to false and misleading statements about my work in Austin.

In particular, he criticized my record of defending the unborn. I cannot leave this mischaracterization unaddressed.

I am a pro-life physician who is committed to protecting the unborn and their mothers. That is why I hold the same pro-life position as former President George W. Bush, that abortion should be prohibited in law except for horrific instances of rape, incest, severe fetal abnormality or immediate harm to a mother’s life.

Last session, I helped to pass the strongest pro-life law in Texas history, which bans abortions in Texas after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This law has already reduced the number of abortions in Texas and resulted in the closure of several abortion facilities.

This session, I am working to build on these gains by cracking down on the awful practice of forced abortions and the human sex trade.

I respect the right of anyone to seek political office and discuss my record, but it is inappropriate to mislead or play political games with this important and sensitive issue.

With only three weeks remaining in the current legislative session, I will continue to focus on legislation that matters to our district, like passing a conservative state budget that protects the Rainy Day Fund, supporting public education, securing our future water supply, improving transportation, defending traditional values, and keeping Texas a great place to live and work.

There are two oaths that I take very seriously. The first is my oath as a physician to protect God’s gift of human life, both born and unborn. The second is to uphold and defend the Constitution as The political campaign will come soon enough, but for now my focus remains on the work I was elected to do.

If you ever have any questions for me or regarding my work as your representative, feel free to reach my office at (512) 463-0628.

Dr. J.D. Sheffield is a Republican member of the Texas House, serving his second term representing District 59, which includes Erath, Somervell, Comanche, Hamilton, McCulloch, Mills, San Saba and Coryell counties.