On Election Day, I celebrated victories and obsessed over losses.
I woke up the next day and indulged in 24 hours of relief-fueled joy.
Then, on Thursday, I allowed reality to ooze in.
I spent the weekend after the election in Wichita, Kansas. I was speaking at the Kansas NOW Annual Conference, where I met some amazing activists who are dedicated to protecting access to reproductive healthcare regardless of how anti-choice many folk think Kansas is.
As a Missourian, I can empathize. We may have defeated Congressman Akin and sent Senator Claire McCaskill back to Washington (yay!)…we even elected Democrats to all statewide offices with the exception of one (double yay!)…but Missouri’s General Assembly also has an overabundance of folk who are opposed to reproductive justice.
I get that odds are 2013 isn’t going to be a walk in the park. I’m not unrealistic.
But every time I hear a pundit gleefully chat about how Obama or Romney had a path to victory that didn’t require wins in [insert states here], I cringe.
There is no path to reproductive justice that circumnavigates entire regions of the country.
A right without access is a right in name only.
That’s what attendees at the Kansas NOW Annual Conference understood all too well. And that’s why I spoke to them about what they can do now to help forge a path toward justice in the future.
Sometimes even I need to be reminded that there isn’t a state in the union that is 100 percent “red” or “blue”…or 100 percent anything.
That explains why Missourians sent Senator McCaskill back to Washington D.C. and elected Democrats to all but one statewide office, yet some communities opted for very conservative representation under the dome.
It’s a wee bit more complicated that a basic set of Crayons.
Just…don’t give up on us.
Don’t write us off or underestimate the impact policies generated within our borders can have on the rest of the country.
We all need to stop accepting the premise that some states swing while others have their feet encased in cement.
Kansans elected pro-choice Democrat Kathleen Sebelius as their Governor in 2003 and re-elected her by a landslide in 2006, for the love of all that is doable again!
Don’t sleep on the red states.