Blue Girl, Red State

*The opinions presented in this article do not represent Her Campus or SFASU and are strictly the opinion of the writer*

With the recent midterm elections leading Texas to remain a Republican, or “red” state, I began to fear and worry for not only my own future, but also for the future of Texas and the United States. Recently, I have found myself leaning more towards the Democratic side of politics when it comes to “hot topics” such as reproductive rights and the rights of women, the clear violence and brutality against African Americans in our society, and LGBTQ rights. These controversial issues are at the forefront of my mind today after learning that Ted Cruz will remain in office for another 2 years. 

         Beginning with my concerns for the reproductive rights of women, Ted Cruz has made his stance on abortion as well as Planned Parenthood clear. Cruz pushes the conservative agenda to overturn the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, which he once referred to as a “shadow in our nation’s history” and hopes to defund Planned Parenthood. Roe v. Wade allows women the right to privacy, meaning they can end a pregnancy if they so choose. One fear I have is that overturning this case would lead to a spike in back alley abortions or trying “home remedies” to end their unwanted pregnancies. These practices are unsafe, and I would hate for women to put themselves at risk when there can be a legal and safe alternative. 

Another problem I have with this is that Cruz wants to overturn Roe v. Wade for religious beliefs/reasons. There is a separation of church and state, however, many politicians combine their religious beliefs with the policies they support or oppose. This practice is unconstitutional, and in many cases creates a biased system of government. But I digress, my main concern of course being that Planned Parenthood provides so many services for low-income persons such as STI testing, cancer screenings, HIV testing and services, and so much more. Taking away access to this health resource would be incredibly detrimental to people with lower incomes who rely on these services. Taking away access to the healthcare provided by Planned Parenthood would be a great disservice to many Americans.

         I also worry that Cruz will continue to ignore the clear racial bias that I continue to see in our society. I will admit that I am a white woman and because of this I know I will never be able to fully understand what it is like to be treated differently due to my race. Cruz, when asked about police brutality, essentially said that the police were under attack and used the classic “All Lives Matter” as a way to avoid or skirt around the issue. Although all lives do in fact matter, I wish he would recognize and acknowledge the violence against people of color in Texas. This is not to say that of course that all police officers are racists and that there isn’t a target on the backs of law enforcement; I am simply dumbfounded on why our elected official refuses to acknowledge the clear racial profiling in our society. This refusal is dangerous in that it, yet again, ignores the struggles of black persons and remaining ignorant is not an option.

Another worry that I have is the rights of LGBTQ people. Cruz has mentioned that he believes that the question of whether or not gay marriage should be legal should be up to each individual state. This worries me in that Texas has a Republican majority and the conservative belief is that gay marriage should not be legal. (I am not saying that all registered Republicans believe this.) This is yet again an example of bringing religion into politics. Simply inserting your religious beliefs into policies should not be done yet for some reason continues to be a problem. The right of LGBTQ people to get married and live their lives in peace should not be up for debate, it should simply just be done.

We are all Americans and our rights and freedoms should be protected at all times. It saddens me that yet again this great state has continued to elect a man who does not, in my opinion, fight for the rights of every Texan regardless of gender, race, and sexual orientation. However, this is only one election, and in 2 years we will have the opportunity to elect a new official.