Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a voter suppression bill into law last week, along with more restrictive voting rights this week, in what most in New York City and the nation are calling an “assault” on voting rights and women’s reproductive freedom.
Congressmember Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) joined the chorus of elected officials vowing to take a stand against the seeming onslaught of conservative legislation that’s being passed in today’s charged political climate after 2020’s presidential elections.
In a statement she condemned the “dangerous Supreme Court shadow docket decision” to not block Texas’s recent anti-abortion law.
“Let me be very clear; this law is an all-out assault on reproductive health and rights in America and will have devastating and immediate consequences in Texas. It is wrong. Women have the right to make their own decisions about their bodies,” said Clarke.
The main argument against the law is that it eliminates access to legal abortion after about six weeks, which is before many women know they’re pregnant in certain circumstances.
“Congress must act. We must proactively legislate reproductive justice and advance substantive policies that affirm a woman’s fundamental right to choose,” said Clarke, who is co-leading the Women’s Health Protection Act.
Texas native D’Seanté Parks, candidate engagement manager for the #VOTEPROCHOICE national organization, said that Abbott is actively disenfranchising people of color and Black voters as well as forcing bans on abortion that the majority of Americans and Texans don’t seem to want.
“It is clear that his intentions are to continue to consolidate power so that a small minority of white conservative politicians can continue to rule over a people that increasingly looks less and less like them with each passing year,” said Parks.
The Texas voting laws are intended to combat voter fraud, reported Reuters, but counterprotesters of the law said Republicans have presented no evidence of widespread voter fraud in their state to support the legislation.
“Gov. Abbott and the Texas Republican legislature are desperate to maintain control of the state. Both today’s anti-democratic election law and last week’s draconian abortion ban are efforts to rig the system to prevent most of the people in Texas from building real power,” said Parks.
“Blocking people from the sacred right to vote and forcing people to carry pregnancies and give birth against their will are plays straight from the same playbook, both of which prevent Texans from escaping poverty and the institutional racism in our healthcare and election systems,” continued Parks.
Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about culture and politics in New York City for The Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w