A “mob.” That’s what so many of our elected leaders think about citizens who came to the Texas Capitol in recent weeks to demand that politicians stay out of their private decisions about whether and when to have children.
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in a sneering email to his supporters late Friday night, boasted about the state Senate’s passage of legislation that puts government between pregnant women and their doctors. This supposedly “small-government conservative” proudly declared that the Senate passed the bill “within earshot of a roaring mob” — meaning the thousands of concerned women and men who filled the Capitol and the steps outside.
That wasn’t a “mob,” Lt. Gov. Dewhurst. It was democracy in action. It was the sound of outraged citizens exercising outside the Senate chamber their First Amendment right to free speech.
This morning the reality is that far-right extremists and their allies in the Legislature have succeeded in ramming through passage of their latest attack on women’s health care. They have hurled vicious insults — “feminazi,” “terrorist,” even “murderer” — at Sen. Wendy Davis and others who oppose their agenda. Their contempt for women’s health care has been so great that they even cheered law enforcement officers who confiscated feminine hygiene products before allowing citizens to enter the Senate gallery on Friday.
The staff of our incredible coalition partners — Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, Annie’s List and The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity – were the unsung heroes of the incredible mobilization of Texas men and women over the past month. We have been proud to stand with them and with the women of Texas.
But this fight has been just one battle in our fight against right-wing extremism in Texas. For 18 years TFN’s mission has been to expose and counter that extremism in the Legislature, at the State Board of Education and in local communities across the state.
Even now, TFN staff are preparing for the State Board of Education’s adoption this year of science textbooks for Texas public schools. What happens at the state board this will year will determine what a generation of Texas students learn about evolution and climate change in their science classrooms. And TFN will lead the fight to keep creationism and other junk science out of those classrooms.
We hope you will join and support us as we work for a better Texas — a Texas that rejects extremism, respects women’s private decisions and puts the needs of Texas students and their families ahead of divisive political agendas.
You can support the Texas Freedom Network by clicking here to make a donation. We pledge to use whatever gift you can afford to continue fighting back against the intolerant, intrusive and dangerous policies of right-wing politicians and their extremist allies in Texas. And we’re confident that, working together, we will build that better Texas for all.