Imagine campaigning for a Democratic politician—a thankless, low-paying job, especially at the state level—because you believe in what they stand for. The candidate gives powerful speeches about abortion rights that make you proud. You’re in a purple state, where every single seat in the legislature is critical to protecting abortion access. So you join the fight, help them win, and continue working for them in the legislature. Then inexplicably, in the middle of their term, that politician does an about-face, switches parties, and votes in favor of an extreme abortion ban, delivering Republicans the one vote they needed to override a veto and actually shutter clinics in the state.
Two (now former) aides to North Carolina State Rep. Tricia Cotham found themselves in that position earlier this month. Cotham, a Democrat until recently who was endorsed by EMILY’s List, had given speeches for years about abortion rights, sworn over and over to defend them, and even talked about her own medically necessary abortion. “My womb and my uterus is not up for your political grab,” she said in one particularly passionate 2015 speech.
But here’s the important bit:
Autumn Alston, a Democratic activist who canvassed for Cotham’s two most recent campaigns and advised her often
You see, a woman isn’t allowed to change her mind if it pisses off a political activist. Oh no.