By Sheila D. Tyson
Let me be perfectly clear. If it weren’t for women, Alabama would be broke. Women are the key makers in this state. Seventy-two percent of Alabamian households are women. I don’t want our message to get lost. Every. Day. Is. Voting. Day.
The supporters of HB314 in the Alabama legislature and the Governor are sending a message loud and clear. Women who heard it, understand and know what they need to do. Be prepared to run for office. This move by Alabama Legislature is nothing but trying to control women.
I live in an area where poverty is high, schools are not adequately funded, Medicaid is not fully funded, but the state is distracted by worrying about a woman’s uterus than to have compassion, concern and try to provide a net of protection for the child after the arrival.
How about worrying about the child getting an equal footing in society with a head start or if this child will be provided the proper nutrients and can get a healthy meal in a place other than school? This move is unconstitutional and it will not work. To force a woman to have a child after rape or incest is not a government’s decision to make. It is personal. This decision is going to force people to look to other means that could cost them their life. Literally.
I am not shocked. My body stopped being shocked in 2016. As the Convener of the Alabama Black Women Roundtable, it is my responsibility to make sure women understand what is next. And for us, we are going to turn up the volume. We are going to hold rallies, educate the public, protest, register voters, and continue to do the work we do 365 days of the year. We will not allow them to steal our constitutional rights.
The Alabama Black Women’s Roundtable is a state affiliate to the Black Women’s Roundtable. The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is an intergenerational civic engagement network of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security, education and global empowerment as key elements for success.
Women of Will, Powerhouse and many other organizations are joining us in our efforts.
Sheila D. Tyson is Convener Alabama Coalition on Black Civic Participation and a Jefferson County Commissioner representing District 2.