by Laura Bray
[Author’s Note: KCDP is fortunate to have the opportunity to write an opinion column for the Boerne Star twice a month. However, the paper’s strict editorial rules prevented me from mentioning the recent SCOTUS decision or even obliquely referring to it. What I really wanted to write appears below. If you wish to read the column that actually appeared in the Boerne Star, click here.]
Let’s face it: the news from the past few weeks—Uvalde (and the subsequent inaction on gun control), the insane 2022 platform of the Texas Republican Party, and especially last Friday’s Supreme Court’s decision to revoke a woman’s right to bodily autonomy—has been devastating. Many of us still need time to process our grief and anger.
At some point, though, the time for despair and anger passes, and the need to take concrete action takes its place. We at the Kendall County Democratic Party are here to stand and stay and fight for what’s right for all citizens, not just the rights of old, white, straight males. At an abortion rights rally last weekend in Austin, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke asked a large crowd, “Action or reaction—what do you choose? Action is the antidote to despair and the key to victory.”
We find ourselves in a time where a fundamental right is being taken away from half the population and pushback against common-sense (and popular) gun measures are receiving significant pushback. The only thing that changes that situation is your involvement now and your vote this November to elect new leadership. We cannot turn Texas blue without your votes. In the November 2020 general election, a record number of Kendall County Democrats cast their votes for President Biden. We need to build on that momentum.
The Republicans bend over backward to make it hard to vote in Texas, so you’ll give up and not bother. That’s EXACTLY the result they’re after: they want you to give up so they win by default. Because they know they can’t win if everyone can vote; nor can they win based on the “merits” of their positions (of which there are none).
Justice Thomas’s written opinion made it crystal-clear that other rights are in danger of being revoked: gay marriage, same-sex intimacy, and contraception among them. Gov. Abbott has publicly stated that he wants to revisit the decision that requires states to provide a free public education to undocumented immigrants. Other Republican leaders want individual states to decide whether or not to allow interracial marriage. What’s next? Protections for the disabled (Americans With Disabilities Act)? Environmental protections (Clean Water Act)? Non-discrimination in housing policy (Fair Housing Act)? Not even Medicare and Social Security are safe under the Republicans.
Experts are already warning that this catastrophic SCOTUS decision will cause maternal mortality rates to skyrocket. The US already has the highest maternal mortality rate by far of any developed country – and it’s rising sharply.
The governor likes to brag about his “Texas Miracle” with all the companies choosing to move to Texas. But few companies that value their employees will want to come to a state that denies the right to bodily autonomy to half their employees. And the attorney general and Texas Republicans in the Legislature are already making noise about establishing criminal penalties for companies who pay for their Texas employees to go out of state for an abortion. How is such a stance even remotely “pro-business”?
At least one anti-abortion group is exploring, with Texas legislators, “model legislation that would restrict people from crossing state lines for abortions.” Such a restriction is a violation of a person’s basic right to travel, and President Biden said he will fight such efforts.
Make no mistake: a woman’s right to make her own decisions is on the ballot this November. Vote accordingly. The time to get involved is now. For more information on how to elect new leadership this fall or how to get involved, call our office at 830-331-1243 or visit www.kcdems.us
Laura Bray is Chair of the Kendall County Democratic Party.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.— Martin Niemöller, German minister, 1946