Well, that referendum dropped a whole lot of conservatives in the creek this week, didn’t they, folks? Who would have guessed it would have been Kansas that would have handed out such a colossal slap in the face? The logic they used said that putting that item in on a primary in an “off” year would be “safe”. Nobody really goes to the polls anywhere for primaries. Just the diehard faithful who want to make sure their favorites make it to the general election. Turnout is normally very low. Plus, they intentionally made the language in the question very obtuse. You almost needed to be an attorney to read it and understand it.
BUT they did not reckon with the fact that the women and sympathetic men had been paying attention to the Dobbs decision. Big mistake.
Those folks went out and recruited voters. Voter registration went up 1000% and 70% of new voters were women. Never mess with a bunch of angry women. You will get your face handed to you.
Now “Christian Nationalists” and other so-called Right Wing Conservative groups around the country are backpedaling furiously to try to figure out what to do about this. They had been breaking their arms patting themselves on the back that they had “put it to the libs” on abortion. But they had made the assumption that American women would simply fall right in behind them docilely like sheep. That did not materialize at all. Instead, they are getting a pounding from their own ranks.
What do we, as Democrats, need to do?
- Emphasize the loss of RIGHTS. This resonates with them big time. The Right to Medical Privacy is lost when anybody but the woman and her doctor are involved in the decision-making process. The loss of the Right to the Pursuit of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness when somebody other than herself makes decisions for her about her goals and her future. The loss of her Right to Free Speech when she cannot speak up for herself to say whether or not she even wants to be a mother at this point in time.
- Avoid arguing with them re the biological process of the start of life. That is a religious and philosophical discussion best left to scholars. Very few lay people know anything about the actual biology involved so trying to point out the science to them is about as pointless as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Just don’t waste your time.
- Use the correct, most accurate words possible. It’s not a “fertilized egg”, it is a zygote. (BTW, they’ll get frustrated with you for this in all likelihood. But hang in there. You are correct. They aren’t. ) At six weeks along, you talk about an embryo, NOT a baby. At 12 weeks along, talk about a fetus until birth. Note: Babies can breathe on their own. None of these have that capacity. “Heartbeat bills” are really extreme bans on abortion procedures so say that. If they mention a “pregnancy crisis center”, clarify that what they are really talking about is a place that is intentionally designed to mislead, coerce, and manipulate pregnant people into staying pregnant long enough that they cannot obtain the procedure and must give birth whether that was their intention or not. They will then pressure them to give up their child to a for-profit adoption agency.
- Talk about the world you are fighting for. A world where people can make medical decisions for themselves without worrying about whether or not health insurance will be there for them and their families.
- Do not allow them to drag you off into the weeds with discussions of “personhood” or “viability”. These words are dog whistles for religious concepts that have absolutely no place in society except perhaps in philosophy. Their goal is to stigmatize the people who need a medical procedure for any reason that THEY deem to be illegitimate and thereby restricting everyone else’s reproductive, social, and moral freedoms for their own goals. It enslaves essentially an entire group of people solely for their reproductive capacity without their consent. I cannot think of much of anything that is further from the Constitution.
Keep registering voters. One of the reasons the people of Kansas shocked everyone was their turnout. It was A M A Z I N G. We CAN DO THIS. It is possible to pull this off. Kansas is about as red of a state in the nation as you’ll find.
I want to work for Reproductive Rights for everyone. I want to help make sure that if you need an abortion, you get it. If you need and want gender affirming care, no matter where you are, you have access to it. No one should ever have a problem getting the medical care they need for any reason. Healthcare is a RIGHT. The amount of cash in your pocket is irrelevant.
Healthcare includes vision, dental, hearing, and mental health. Never forget that. It comes with being a complete human being. Let’s make sure those get put BACK into the package.
Elect me as your State Senator.