Texas Republicans — who hold power over the governorship, the state Senate and the state House — are successfully imposing their regressive vision for the state.
Specifically, newly imposed laws targeting the right to vote and the right to an abortion are having their desired effect of inhibiting both.
On Thursday, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission released data showing that the number of abortions in Texas declined by 60 percent in September, the first month the state's law banning the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect. The draconian law encourages vigilantes to investigate and report physicians who perform abortions after the limit, promising up to $10,000 for each successful lawsuit brought against the accused.
Texas Republicans have ushered in policies that are accomplishing their socially regressive aims.
At the same time, Senate Bill 1, the GOP-backed law that imposes some of the harshest voting restrictions in the country, is predictably leading to chaos for Texas elections officials. The bill includes new ID requirements for mail-in voting, along with potential criminal charges for people found to have helped others fill out their ballots.
Hundreds of ballots submitted for the upcoming Texas primary elections in March have already been rejected due to voters failing to include new ID numbers required for ballots to be counted.
In another case, one Republican state representative, Tony Gonzales, sent materials instructing voters to send mail-in ballot applications to the wrong address. A spokesperson for Gonzales called the incident a mistake. He represents much of Bexar County, which includes highly populated San Antonio. The incorrect information was reportedly sent to all eligible voters in his district.
And in yet another case of government ineptitude, Texas Secretary of State John Scott, a Republican, blamed “supply chain issues” and the price of paper for a shortage in voter registration cards just days before the Jan. 31 deadline for Texans to register to vote. Texas is one of few states that doesn’t allow online registration.
In totality, the picture is quite clear. From voting rights to abortion rights, Texas Republicans have ushered in policies that are accomplishing their socially regressive aims and, in the process, creating an anti-democratic dystopia many proponents of civil rights have feared.