Message from DA Spain Chair
Is it ironic that I’m writing this column on Mother’s Day and that I spent the morning at the church where I first met Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who successfully argued Roe v. Wade? I refer, of course, to the topic of the leaked Supreme Court (SCOTUS) draft opinion that would overturn Roe if ultimately adopted. Such a ruling would do tremendous violence to the individual right of bodily autonomy as well as impede the delivery of the best practices in reproductive health care. Small wonder, then, that opposition to overturning Roe has been forceful and virtually instantaneous. Members of Democrats Abroad are already participating in this opposition. If you want to join that effort, please read on and follow DA Spain on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
But in addition to the drastic move backwards for American women portended by this draft opinion, the Supreme Court’s apparent willingness to overturn Roe signals two other significant dangers we ought to be aware of.
The first is that SCOTUS is expressing a potential willingness to curtail other rights delineated in historic opinions over the years. What does the fall of Roe mean for Obergefell, the opinion recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry? Or for Lawrence, which struck down laws criminalizing homosexuality? Or Griswold, protecting the right of access to birth control? Or Gideon, requiring the provision of lawyers to indigent defendants in felony cases? Or Brown, ordering school desegregation? The list goes on and on, because a Court that overturns the expansion of rights in one area may have no compunctions about narrowing Constitutional rights in others.
The second danger is somewhat less obvious, but more far-reaching. It is explained very clearly in the book “How Fascism Works,” by Yale professor Jason Stanley. In the first chapter of this profoundly unsettling book (summarized in this video), Stanley argues that the first step in establishing a fascist regime is to invoke “a pure mythic past tragically destroyed.” Fascism claims that it, alone, can restore this perfect, fictional bygone era. In the pure, mythical past being heralded by the American right, women and other minorities were firmly under the control of men, both legally and physically. The Court’s promotion of this myth can be regarded as the first step on the path to a further unraveling of our democracy.
So what do we do? There’s no shortage of work, and for Democrats Abroad that means getting out the overseas vote for Democratic candidates. We must help American voters who live in Spain register to vote and then navigate the multi-step process of voting overseas. Without our efforts, thousands of votes for Democratic candidates — who will work to restore and expand our rights, not deny them to disfavored groups of Americans — will be lost.
So, over the next five months, let’s get out every Democratic vote we can! The stakes have never been higher.
Thanks for all that you do,
Kathy Tullos (Chair)
Message from DA Spain Chair
Usually the fun fact in our newsletter appears at the end, but today we’re starting out with one, as well. Did you know that the average adult spends about 10 full months of their life talking about the weather?
As I write this, the weather here in our home in Torrevieja has been absolutely wild. March was the wettest it’s been in 95 years, and the wind has whipped the palms around so much I’m surprised the fronds aren’t in braids by now. On the plus side, local surfers are having a great time. And for good or ill, we entertained two sets of guests from the USA during this deluge. We apparently have hardy friends, because everybody just donned rain jackets and headed out to see the sights.
Our home country is experiencing heavy weather, too. In the midst of the world’s turbulence, we’re facing midterm elections in which forecasters say Democrats could lose up to 60 seats in the House of Representatives. SIXTY SEATS. Goodbye investigation of the attempted coup on January 6, and hello impeachment of Joe Biden for, well, being alive, along with anything else equally nefarious the Republicans can think up.
So Democrats Abroad Spain has to do its bit. Each of us has to do our bit. And here are the three things you can do:
- Volunteer to phonebank. This is critical. We’re calling other members of DA to make sure they register to vote, request their ballots and return them. You use an online system that lets you know what to say, dials for you, and doesn’t tie up your own phone. Make five calls just to try it out; you’ll see how easy it is! (See details below)
- Tell other Americans abroad about the importance of voting from overseas. Guide them to votefromabroad.org, where up-to-date voting information about every US jurisdiction is available, along with individual help if users have questions. The vast majority of Americans who vote from abroad are Democrats, so your individual outreach can have a significant impact.
- Help Democrats Abroad Spain find folks who are savvy about social media and who’d be willing to help DAS with its social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok) or otherwise help out with the communications team. Reach out to us at [email protected].
It’s time to pull on the raincoats, stuff our feet into rain boots, and get to work. We can’t change the weather, but we can change the outcome of our elections. So let’s get going!
Kathy Tullos (Chair)
The GWC Reproductive Justice Team is launching a project to promote voter registration under the theme Reproductive Justice for ALL.
As you certainly know, the rights of all women to choose when and if to start a family are being taken away with over 26 States prohibiting or restricting the right to abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy even in the cases of rape, incest and the mother’s and/or the fetus’ health. Texas has empowered vigilantes to sue everyone and anyone aiding and abetting abortion once the fetal heartbeat can be heard (eg at approximately 6 weeks and before most women know they are pregnant).
We cannot allow this to continue particularly with Roe v Wade in peril and the Women’s Health Protection Act stuck in the Senate.
Our project is a video launch via YouTube. We are asking all DA members to make a short (60 sec) video explaining why the right to abortion is absolutely necessary. If you come from a State where it is practically impossible to obtain an abortion, you can speak about the discrimination against minority and poor women whose lives are in jeopardy and who cannot travel. If you come from “good States” such as MA, CA, NY for example, you can speak to the injustice of access depending upon where you live. Make sure you mention in the video VotefromAbroad.org for expat voter registration and vote.gov for non expat voter registration.
We believe that many of our voters will be motivated to register when we roll out the videos.
Here are a few subjects that you could choose for your video:
- If you live/vote in a country that has “good” reproductive freedom laws, you could refer to the country and the liberal law(s) and how lucky you are to be in that country and how unfair it is for American women LIVING IN THE US who can’t benefit from such laws
- If you live/vote in a US State that has good reproductive freedom laws, see above. And you can say that living in a “bad” State is discriminatory since women in “good “US States have rights that you are denied.
- You can share a personal experience. You don’t have to use your name or even mention where you live. The videos will be anonymous unless you do give details.
- You can make a statement about women should have the right to control their bodies. Period. There is no justification for the government to decide when, how or even if women should have children.
If you can’t think of anything to say but still want to make a video, feel free to contact Salli at [email protected]. She will set up a call and walk you through some ideas and we can help you make the video.
Here is a link on how to make a video:
For more information, visit our blog space here:
All videos should be sent to Salli Swartz at [email protected]
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN
Disclaimer: By submitting your video, you grant to Democrats Abroad a nonexclusive rights to use your video and your image only for the 2022 GWC Reproductive Justice Get Out the Vote video project.
You therefore hereby waive all rights to any claims arising out of or in connection with Democrats Abroad GWC’s use of your video and image in connection with the 2022 Reproductive Justice video project.
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