Last month, our friends at Texas Freedom Network Education Fund’s (TFNEF) program for young activists, Texas Rising, hosted a series of Lies into Laws Forums on college campuses around the state to empower students to call out lawmakers who are turning lies into harmful laws. As TFNEF’s Outreach and Field Director Valerie Benavidez describes it, Texas Rising is working to “inform, register and get young Texans out to the polls.”
Events took place at colleges in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio and San Marcos, and featured experts, advocates and students talking about the impact of Texas laws that target and harm women, LGBT people, immigrants and people of color. Panelists at the forums also discussed how young people can fight back.
“Millennials … have a responsibility to speak truth to lies and to help their peers understand exactly what is happening in capitals like this one, where lies are being used to promote hateful and discriminatory laws,” said former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis at the launch event in Austin on November 6.
Abortion policy “should be guided by established science but is often affected by politics and misinformation,” said Jensen Soderland, president of the Texas Rising chapter at the University of Texas, Austin. “This year, the governor signed into law a ban on a common and safe method of abortion and also a requirement on fetal remains. Experts – actual scientists – repeatedly told lawmakers that these bills were not really based on science, but these new restrictions were passed and signed into law anyway. Still more lies.”
At the University of Texas at El Paso event, student Samantha Romero emphasized the connections between and among issues affecting young people: “The least you can do is understand how movements are related and how they connect with each other.” She added, “Being involved and informed to support each other across these movements is very, very important because we cannot do it alone.”
The passion and commitment of the student leaders who spoke at these events is why the National Partnership is so proud to work with state and local advocates like TFNEF on the Lies into Laws campaign. We look forward to partnering with activists in other states to engage young people in calling out anti-abortion politicians who lie to constituents and prioritize ideology over women’s health.
Interested in launching a Lies into Laws campaign in your state? Email me at email@example.com.
Learn more about the Lies into Laws campaign at LiesintoLaws.org.