Moms for Liberty Lexington Chapter Makes Presence Felt
Moms for Liberty believes that parents have a right to defend their rights as guardians and have made it a mission to make waves in Lexington County. Kourtney O’Hara started the Lexington chapter a year ago after having her questions go unanswered by legislatures in the state, she told the Chronicle.
O’Hara said she heard about Moms for Liberty after attending a medical freedom rally amid COVID-19 mandates during the high peaks of the pandemic. She learned about what the national chapter stood for and saw there were no chapters in the Midlands, so she began one for the county. Now, there are 14 chapters in the state, including ones in Lexington and Richland counties. After starting her chapter, she said she found it easier to contact legislatures concerning her questions.
The Lexington chapter has mainly focused on mask mandates and Critical Race Theory, among issues they disagree with in public schools.
The group recently pushed for the resignation of Dr. Brent Powers, vice chair of the Lexington County School District 1 board, over a controversy involving students having to be vaccinated to take clinical courses conducted at/in partnership with Lexington Medical Center.
The chapter’s website states that it is “dedicated to the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.”
“We are moms, dads, grandparents, families, friends, and neighbors working together to promote and protect our God given rights as parents, and secure an education for our children,” the website reads. “We work with our lawmakers, board members and communities to bring awareness to government overreach, while educating on what our Consitution [sic] of our country states our government’s job and limitations are, and our duty as citizens to hold them accountable.”
Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions people have about Moms for Liberty is that the group is strictly conservative, according to O’Hara. She said the group is 100% a nonpartisan 501c4 nonprofit.
Their main focus is educating people regarding policies who might not always have time to research themselves, O’Hara said.
The chapter has worked with Democrats for Life, O’Hara said, and will work with any group, not just conservatives.
Another misunderstanding is that the group is against public education, she said, explaining they advocate for school choice.
The group focuses mainly on public outreach and education, but also on legislation and statutes. While the name suggests it’s a mom group only, the group is for anyone. O’Hara joked that there’s a subgroup called Founding Fathers for the men.
When it comes to endorsing candidates for elected offices, O’Hara said the chapter only endorses when it comes to school boards. Because of the group’s status as a nonpartisan organization, it can’t endorse for seats that are party-affiliated, which often includes races for mayoral seats and spots on town/city and county councils.
In Lexington County, while county council elections are partisan, all town/city council and mayoral races are nonpartisan.
O’Hara encourages people to come to a meeting and ask questions. Ninety-nine percent of their meetings are open to the public.