I have been a passionate, aggressive, dedicated activist and advocate for women’s civil and reproductive rights since I was a teenager — and remain as energetically committed to the cause of feminism as I ever was.
I have coordinated, participated in, and led more demonstrations than I can even begin to count or remember. I have given speeches, hand drawn hundreds of placards, made phone calls, manned tables, gathered signatures, moderated roundtable discussions, given interviews with major media outlets, written articles for, as well as letters to, nearly every major newspaper on the West coast.
I have marched whilst heavily pregnant (and, for the record, expressly against doctor’s orders), recruited legions of supporters and sponsors, and talked on and on, ad nauseum, to anyone and everyone who would listen to me (and even some who wouldn’t!) about the dire importance of voting for pro-choice candidates. And sometimes I just sat quietly and listened to one woman tell me her story of why she chose to end a pregnancy; not once did I walk away from such an encounter unmoved.
I have written and published essays about how women of my generation should not be afraid to enthusiastically embrace the word “feminist”, provided rides for both rallies and abortions, procured funding for women who could not otherwise have afforded to safely end their pregnancies, and even paid for a few of them myself…at a time in my life when, trust me, I could least afford to do so.
Also, because I think it is critically important to put real names and faces to our side of the issue whenever possible, I have honestly, publicly, and without hesitation or shame told my own teenage abortion story — even when doing so was a risky, precarious thing to do for every reason you might imagine. And, most importantly of all, I have educated my own teenage daughters and son about how very crucial it is that all women everywhere be allowed total control over their own lives and reproductive destinies, no matter the circumstance. Just as others choose to teach their children hate and intolerance, I have taught mine the justice of equality and autonomy for women and the power of encouraging all people to be self-determining, not just those with a dick. My wicked plan? After I am gone, there are three to take my place in the fight towards that end: take that, hateful, pasty-faced Armies of God.
I have stood and wept, stood and cheered, and stood defiant and unyielding in the face of hatred, ignorance, judgment, and small-mindedness — and in all that time, in all of the confrontations I have had with all these cretinous, ignorant anti-choice pricks, I have never once, not a single time, ever seen anything like this. Watching this, I feel as though the top of my head were just taken off — I literally feel dizzy. In all the showdowns I have had with these freaks — and believe me, there have been many — not once has anyone, including myself, ever thought to ask this one, small question.