Previously on Texas politics: Abortion Banner Drop Against #HB2 by Kit O’Connell & Partisanship in Texas: We Live In Different Worlds by Maryann Philbrook on MyMPN.
See also: Texans Build A Diverse Movement For Reproductive Choice And Health Care and Women Aren’t The Only Texans Grappling With Changes To Health Care Access by Kit O’Connell on Mint Press News.
Austin, Texas — Though state Sen. and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis recently went public with her own abortion story, some have accused her campaign of avoiding the issue which brought the Democrat to prominence. On her website, her platform emphasizes health care but doesn’t mention abortion.
Katie Klabusich, a journalist and activist, shared her thoughts on the politics of abortion: “What I’ve taken a lot of hope in over the last six months is the people leading the chapters of national organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.”
“They’ll go on air and say the word abortion like it’s breathing. It’s because they’re a younger leadership. It’s our generation that’s taking control of those organizations and saying those words. So the words get said even if the hosts of network news won’t say it, because the activists are saying it.”
“Politicians are always at least one election cycle behind because they have to see people responding to that new language before they come on board,” Klabusich added. “They’re afraid of the right wing machine here. The amount of gerrymandering in this state means they have to overcompensate on voter turnout.”
“Voting is a reproductive rights issue because with the Voting Rights Act gone — let’s get real, those laws are designed to be racist,” she added.
The same people who struggle for abortion access due to race, immigration status, economic disadvantage, or even sexual orientation are also some of the same ones losing their vote due to newly restrictive laws. She even passed on reports of police targeting people of color for increased ticketing as election time approaches in order to confiscate their driver’s licenses and prevent them from voting.
“I got involved because of Wendy Davis’ view on women’s health care,” Manny Duran told MintPress. Duran is a gay man and team leader for the Davis campaign in Dallas’ LGBT-friendly Oak Lawn neighborhood.
“When I watched her filibuster, people at work would ask me ‘Why are you watching that if it doesn’t have anything to do with you?’ And I told them it does have something to do with me. I have cousins, I have nieces, I have sisters, aunts and female friends. For her to take a stand for 13 hours when they were saying she might run for governor — I saw a light in her that told me maybe we could win,” he said.
Duran emphasized that outsiders don’t see the political diversity in Texas.
“They don’t see what we see. They don’t go to the rallies that I go to. They don’t talk to people that say ‘Hey, I’m volunteering for the first time.’ People are coming out from hiding who haven’t been involved for years. Texas has been last in voter turnout.”
Much of Duran’s work involves registering Oak Lawn residents to vote and mobilizing them to follow through. And he doesn’t think most polls in the media reflect an accurate cross section of the state.
“The only poll that counts is the one on election day,” he added.
Content posted to MyMPN open blogs is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to MintPress News.