AUSTIN, Texas — Greg Abbott’s dystopian abortion ban is jeopardizing the health and safety of millions of people — and it’s far from the only Republican policy making life harder for Texans, particularly women. This fall, Oxfam America released a report ranking Texas as one of the worst states in the country for working women — 48th out of all states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Beyond the unconstitutional abortion ban, the report cited nonexistent paid leave, sub-poverty wages, and lack of accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding workers — all policies disproportionately affecting women of color, and driven by Texas Republicans.
This news is infuriating but unsurprising to anyone who’s been following Texas Republican actions over the last year. Greg Abbott’s GOP is actively creating a hostile environment for working Texans — in increasingly creative, twisted ways — and threatening to tank the economy because of it. For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re taking a look at just a handful of Republican actions this year that have been bad for workers and bad for business:
- Texas Republicans have consistently endangered the health and safety of working Texans, from refusing to expand Medicaid in the middle of a pandemic, to blocking schools and local officials from taking action to keep teachers and service workers safe from COVID-19. Earlier this fall, a report showed that alongside Florida, Texas has the highest rate of worker burnout in the country, in large part because of Republicans’ reckless healthcare policies.
- Texas Republicans have spent almost a year doing everything in their power to shut down the votes and voices of Black and Brown voters, working Texans, and voters with disabilities. Early on in these efforts, business leaders made it clear the effect these anti-voter laws would have on workers and the economy. In the spring, more than 200 major companies — including Dell, Microsoft, and American Airlines — came together to criticize those attacks, while a group of Houston business leaders warned about the economic impact of GOP anti-voter initiatives, saying “Voter suppression is a stain on our reputation that could cost our region millions of dollars.”
- Abbott’s GOP is still moving forward with their cruel attempt to ban trans kids from playing sports on teams that match their gender identity. The NCAA has already said it won’t hold events in states that discriminate against trans athletes — so on top of the many cruel, harmful aspects of this bill, Texas stands to lose serious revenue because of it.
- And just to really hammer home their message, Texas Republicans put forward a bill banning mandatory water breaks for workers — an attempt to strip folks working construction or farming out in the heat from their right to hydrate every four hours.
Texas Democratic Party Co-Executive Director Jamarr Brown issued the following statement:
“It’s no surprise that Texas ranks as one of the worst states in the country for working women, because Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans have been hellbent on slashing workers’ rights all year long. Whether it’s gutting abortion access, taking a hatchet to voting rights, or refusing to expand affordable healthcare during a pandemic, Greg Abbott has made one thing crystal clear: he and his Republican cronies do not care about working people. And Texans are sick and tired of having a governor who will throw us under the bus any chance he gets.
“Texas Democrats have been fighting every single day to block Abbott’s anti-worker, anti-business policies, and we will keep working from now until the November 2022 elections to make sure this term in office is Abbott’s last one. Texans deserve better, and we will fight to build a strong economy and a better future for working Texans by defeating Greg Abbott and electing Democrats who will put the people of this state first.”