Like many young people who grew up in Texas, I was disillusioned with and apathetic toward politics. I used to believe “both parties are the same” and “nothing ever changes anyway.”
That was stupid. Both parties aren’t the same. And things can definitely change — for the worst.
By passing the Heartbeat Bill and effectively gutting abortion, the Texas Republican Party has proved that women’s rights are fragile and can be taken away at any moment.
They’ve passed legislation based on their fundamentalist ideology — even though the Supreme Court has a much less restrictive definition of viability — because they want to force their oppressive and misogynistic way of life on all women.
I’m lucky that I’ve never been in a position where I needed to have an abortion. I’m lucky that a family member, friend, or stranger never raped me, and that I never had a pregnancy that could cause me significant harm.
But because of the Republican Party, any woman who falls into those categories — rape, incest, dangerous pregnancies — will have two options: carry a fetus for nine months before bringing it into the world and raising it for the next 18 years or risk their lives in dangerous at-home abortions.
As horrific as that is, it doesn’t stop there. The Heartbeat Bill is only one piece of a much larger endgame: Republicans are creating a world where anything that doesn’t fit their narrow, fundamentalist version of reality is punished.
Through the voter suppression bill they’re consolidating government into their own hands. Through the peddling of lies, conspiracy theories and culture wars (critical race theory, anti-mask and anti-vaccine mandates), the Republican Party has radicalized large portions of the population to believe in their extremism.
As a young, religious woman, I’m terrified. The Republican Party of today is unmitigated pedagogy. So, if you feel the disillusionment and apathy I used to, it’s time to wake up.
I’m building a new communications team within the Galveston County Democratic Party because I believe in the party’s vision for the future. I believe that the government should exist to better the lives of its citizens and that our nation becomes more prosperous and competitive on a global stage if everyone — regardless of race, gender or economic class — has a fair shot at the American Dream.
This can only happen if we protect the autonomy and rights of our people, not take away rights from half of our population. It’s insanely simple but too politically unattractive for Republicans.
But I need more young people like me. As someone who’s not a politician, I’ll give it to you straight: There’s a ton to be done, the bureaucracy/procedures feel like molasses and some of the personalities remind me of middle school.
But these horrific laws don’t affect most of our Republican lawmakers who can score their political points and die in 20 years; they affect us.
Join me, and let’s get to work.