AUSTIN (Nexstar) — The Dutch royal visit to the Texas Governor’s Mansion Thursday was filled with pleasantries and productive discussion. But it didn’t stop a Dutch delegation member from asking about something that’s proved to be a heated topic of discussion, extending beyond U.S. soil.
“There’s one point of concern that I wanted to raise, and that is on the right to safe abortion for women. Obviously, the Netherlands has a strong standpoint in that,” Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Corporation of the Netherlands Liesje Schreinemacher said.
The Netherlands has less strict abortion laws, allowing a woman to seek abortion care up to 24 weeks of pregnancy for any reason.
Schreinemacher directed the question toward Gov. Greg Abbott. This was after Dutch Queen Máxima shared remarks on how beneficial Texas-Netherland relations are for both economies. Queen Máxima asked her if she had anything to add.
“I was wondering if we could, maybe partner up as counterparts to see what we can do in that [abortion] stance for Texas,” Schreinemacher said.
Abbott was receptive to the question but kept his response brief.
“One thing we put high importance on here is the safety and health of the mother,” he said. “But the other thing we put importance on is the safety and health of the baby.”
Media members were allowed to record part of the conversation between Queen Máxima and the royal team. However, Abbott’s team let media know ahead of time there would be a closed-door meeting they’d have to step out for.
Media were asked to leave the room as the topic of abortion was brought up.
The governor’s office released notes on Queen Máxima’s visit.
After greeting Her Majesty on the front porch of the Governor’s Mansion, the Governor and First Lady Cecilia Abbott welcomed Queen Máxima inside for private discussion, where they were joined by Texas Secretary of State John B. Scott, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands H.E. Liesje Schreinemacher, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States André Haspels, and Executive Director of the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism Office Adriana Cruz.
During the discussion, the Governor and Her Majesty exchanged gifts from their nations, including two pairs of Texas cowboy boots, a porcelain State of Texas bowl, a signed framed photograph of Their Majesties, an appliqué delft, and a Holland vase.