LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Amy Husk, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Kentucky governor, and her supporters are campaigning to defend women’s right to choose abortion from threatened new attacks here. Leaders in the legislature are moving to pass a “fetal heartbeat” bill that can lead to a frontal legal challenge to the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973. The bill would make most abortions illegal six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy when a physician can detect a heartbeat.
At the same time, there is growing momentum among workers here to change the Kentucky Constitution, which contains an anti-working-class provision that denies restoration of voting rights to almost all ex-prisoners who have been convicted on felony charges. A popular movement won overwhelming passage of a constitutional amendment in Florida last November to overturn a similar provision and restore voting rights for over a million ex-prisoners there.
In response to these developments, Husk attended a number of events over the Jan. 26-27 weekend to raise the importance of mobilizing around these issues. She carried a sign saying, “Defend Abortion Rights; Restore Voting Rights; Socialist Workers Party; Husk for Governor.”
Wanda McIntyre, a former autoworker and member of the King Solomon Baptist Church, rushed over to talk to Husk at one of the actions, saying, “That’s what I’m talking about!” She said she is part of an activist group at her church called “Women of Faith,” which is very interested in working on the campaign to restore voting rights for former prisoners. She also wants to defend women’s right to abortion. McIntyre invited Husk to come meet with the church group at their next meeting to discuss how to work together on the voting rights’ fight.
As the two were talking, a reporter came up and asked to interview both of them. In response to a question, McIntyre drew on her auto plant experience to explain the importance of building unity when confronted with a challenge by the bosses. “We never had any problem with unity on the assembly line,” she said. “We worked together and we fought side by side, whatever our differences.”
McIntyre introduced Husk to several others she knew who shared similar enthusiasm for hearing a working-class perspective and learning about the Socialist Workers Party campaign.