Texas, leader of relentlessness against the right to abortion

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10:45 am, May 15, 2022

Rooftop snipers. Militiamen in overalls and in arms and protagonist of the anti-system conspiracy and combat, very close to Trump, Alex Jones himself. Five years ago, on November 4, 2017 in Austin, Texas, the abortion right rally looked like an entrenched camp. Longtime women’s rights activist Coco Das remembers it like it was yesterday. Talking about it five years later still gives him the creeps. But that’s nothing compared to what he feels today. It is no longer the weapons that speak, but the law. That of the Supreme Court of the United States of America which, according to a draft of the decision report revealed by the Politico website, is about to overturn the historic 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade protects the right to abortion. A betrayal that Coco Das and many others had not seen coming.

“We already have the nation’s most restrictive judicial arsenal in Texas, sighs this spokesman for the Riseup4AbortionRights movement he met in Austin. Texas, like many other conservative states, has been hit by a shock wave in the past fortnight. Young people are mobilizing and the demonstrations are multiplying. Donald Trump, provocative, came yesterday to this Texas capital that he now calls the “City of Death”. Coco Das also notes, disillusioned, that since we know the hypothetical intentions of the judges, none of the great local democratic tenors have expressed themselves frankly on the issue. “Abortion is an explosive topic that scares them because of their base, which is often conservative on social issues. Even President Joe Biden hesitated. “ Coco is convinced, the resistance will come from the streets, not from the politicians. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a demonstration for a cause. Because we know the next step will be a ban on the pill and an end to marriage for everyone. “

Read also – What is the Roe vs. Wade of the US Supreme Court?

40% of the clinics closed

Forty-nine years of struggle and resistance. It took Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 for the “pro-life” dream to materialize. Texas, often seen as a laboratory for what will be the America of tomorrow, is at the forefront of this relentlessness. “This state led the wayconfirms Rogelio Sáenz, professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and others, such as Florida, followed “. In 2016, anti-abortion activists in this country’s third most populous federal state won a new law so restrictive that 40% of abortion clinics were forced to close. But that’s not enough for Jonathan Mitchell. At 45, this highly religious and little-known lawyer has been working for years to establish legal strategies to circumvent the courts. When last September, after multiple interventions by him, the Supreme Court of Texas not only banned abortion for women beyond six weeks, but empowered ordinary citizens to sue those who would be tempted to abort, he then tweeted. “This is the first time since Roe v. Wade that a state has passed a law prohibiting access to termination of pregnancy beyond six weeks after conception. Bless God.”

This state led the way and others, like Florida, followed suit.

Crawford, Population 770, a two hour drive from Austin. This is where former President George W. Bush resides. A single main street, a café, an antiques shop and a building that welcomes city councilors when they meet. Quietly, on August 10, 2021, this sleepy town became the 36th of America’s “sanctuary cities for the unborn” and the 33rd in Texas. . At the origin of this initiative, a pastor, director of the Right to Life for East Texas association (Right to life for East Texas. Mark Lee Dickson works closely with a certain… Jonathan Mitchell). It took only three minutes to get Crawford’s local elected officials to unanimously approve this decision to completely ban abortion in the perimeter of the city. One of the activists who presented this proposal to city council, Dennis Daniel, 62, admits that he has been a “Soldier of Prayer” for years and that the presence of a Planned Parenthood network clinic in Waco, near where he grew up, annoyed a lot. With Crawford being part of his conurbation, he feared the worst. The argument is explosive enough for the local newspaper, the Waco Tribune-Herald, to report the event with all the usual precautions but remind us in passing that Crawford has no doctor, no hospital, much less a clinic to go to. abort. For Dennis Daniel, the important thing is not there. “I don’t know former President Bush but, from a symbolic point of view, I thought sanctifying his city was a good idea. “

Read also – Abolition of the right to abortion in the United States: “A considerable likelihood that this will go all the way”

Pastor Dickson’s project illustrates the all-out threatening work in which abortion opponents have been engaged since the 1980s without necessarily consulting each other, but whose repeated outbursts have ended up bringing this common project to fruition. “It’s a kind of convergence of strugglesexplains Elizabeth Nash, associate director of the Guttmacher Institute, which provides statistics on birth control and abortion in the United States. Various strategies were put in place since 1973, at the level of the States and then of the Federal State, she specifies. For a whole decade there were attempts to change the federal constitution, but it didn’t work. Opponents of abortion then returned to the battlefield of the federated states. And after 1990, the restrictions finally exploded. We have gone from a political change to a cultural change. “

The Republican Party therefore took the opportunity. “For twenty yearsElizabeth Nash continues, the Grand Old Party understood that abortion was a cause for mobilization for its constituents. Having lost marriage for all or adoption for gay couples, they focused again on terminating the pregnancy, which allowed them to make their electoral base more energetic than in democratic countries ”.

A hot topic among Republicans

Like in McAllen, in southeastern Texas, a border town with Mexico. There remains only one clinic here that still practices legal abortions. The building is located in the city center and appears to be permanently closed. A few days after the leak, Albert stands in front with a sign. At 83, this former teacher of a nearby religious school does not give up. “In there they kill children, I will fight to the last breath, it is my duty as a Christian”. McAllen has a Latin majority population and is socially very conservative. Donald Trump was not wrong. He came there last year. The anti-migrant wall at the border and abortion, two promising themes among Republicans. “The Republican Party Strategy! But I laugh when I hear itexclaims John Pisciotta, former professor of economics and founder of Pro-Life Waco since 1996. Nobody pays us. I don’t belong to the Party. For twenty-five years I have struggled with my means. And it is thanks to these kinds of initiatives across the country that we are finally here. We are not united in one movement, but we are millions of people working for the same cause. It is not the politicians who lead the march, it is the opposite. People follow us. “

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