Every now and then, something happens that was not supposed to happen. A fluke so out of the blue and so brilliant, it is impossible to hide. An event that forced powerful people into the open in a way they desperately wanted to avoid.

The upperclassmen in the Texas Capitol were embarrassed and infuriated by a newly sworn-in freshman representative who had been on the job for just a few days, named Rep. Bryan Slaton.

He made history becoming persona non grata with record-breaking speed, instantaneously raising the ire of the entire establishment class including the satraps, the prefects, and the regional governors. By the end of the day, they were ready to feed Bryan to the lions.

What did he do?

He forced them to reveal what none of them wanted to reveal: their actual position on how important ending abortion is to them.

How did he do it?

He filed an amendment that simply said that before the Legislature votes to ceremonially change the names of highways or bridges, they should bring a vote to the floor to abolish abortion.

Here is the text of Rep. Slaton’s brilliant amendment:

It shall not be in order for the House, during any legislative session, to consider any bill or joint resolution that designates by name a part of a highway system, including a bridge or street, if the House has not previously voted on a House bill or joint resolution after the start of the 87th Legislature that would abolish abortion in the State of Texas by ensuring the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all preborn children located in the State of Texas from the moment of fertilization.

When all the prefects and satraps were campaigning in their respective districts, they were loudly proclaiming how much of a pro-life candidate they were. It was on their mailers, in their ads, and on their roadside signs.

Rep. Slaton called their bluff, and it was glorious to see.

Renaming bridges should have been accomplished last on a list of a thousand issues. All he wanted was for them to publicly affirm that ending abortion was more important than Item #1000. It proved to be too much.

The response from those who wished to remain uncounted was swift, intense, and brutal.

Rep. Slaton was cursed. He was yelled at. Vile accusations were made on his character. One was upset because he was trying to “make members make tough votes.”

In the end, the Slaton amendment failed with exactly half of the 82 Republicans voting to prioritize ending abortion over the ceremonial renaming of bridges and roads. Let’s pause for a moment to let that sink in.

Precisely half of Republicans and all Democrats are now on the record for wanting to ceremonially rename bridges before ending abortion in Texas.

Rep. Slaton forced those who would hide to come out into the light, and it is not hyperbole to say that they hate him for it. It is for that exact reason that I am incredibly proud of him.

There are those who run from the heat. There are those who are willing to take the heat. And then there are those, like Rep. Slaton, who are willing to bring the heat.

If you agree, I encourage you to send Rep. Slaton a quick note to his official email address at Bryan.Slaton@house.texas.gov and let him know your thoughts.

This is a commentary published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@texasscorecard.com.

Jon Francis

Jon and his family are Eastland County residents.