Women’s Health was proud to march at the Women’s March on Denver on Jan. 20, standing in solidarity with over 100,000 people supporting social justice, along with millions of others throughout the country and worldwide!
ICYMI: Here’s a transcript of our Executive Director Susan Buchanan’s speech at the Women’s March!
My name is Susan Buchanan and I am proud to be the Executive Director of the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center. We are an independent, nonprofit clinic that provides comprehensive reproductive and sexual healthcare to all people who need us — regardless of gender or sexual orientation… race, ethnicity or citizenship…income or insured status. AND 44 years ago we were founded as the first abortion clinic in Colorado and we are proud of our legacy. Today – I want to talk with you about why we must change the conversation around reproductive rights and how to do it.
Why we must
Reproductive Rights impact us all. When every woman is given the tools and education she needs to control her fertility, whether through birth control or abortion, the world will change for the better. When every child is a wanted child, the world will change for the better. We will reduce poverty, improve health, and create stable families – for everyone and around the world. And Mother Earth will be grateful because human overpopulation is the greatest threat to our environment.
What went wrong
But instead, our reproductive rights have turned into a political bargaining chip that is being used to further agendas or to enrage a certain portion of the electorate in order to gain political power. By demonizing abortion and abortion providers, by making this an emotional litmus test of someone’s morality, they have silenced the majority of people who just don’t want to argue about it.
How to fix it
The problem is, we who believe in reproductive freedom keep getting sucked into the wrong conversation and we do not have the luxury of silence anymore. We will never come to agreement with people who are anti-abortion about the morality of controlling our fertility…because that is a matter of belief. In this country, we all get to believe whatever we want whether we’re religious or not. AND no religious or other belief can be forced upon others.
The only RELEVANT issue is WHO DECIDES. When we frame our conversation as one of Privacy and Freedom from government intrusion, we win. Roe v Wade wasn’t nearly as much about abortion, as it was about privacy. Our Constitutional right to privacy from government intrusion is broad and well settled law – and applies in many situations including who we marry, who we have sex with as well as how we control our fertility. We don’t need to judge anyone else’s religious beliefs – but we must label them as such. And change the conversation to one of personal privacy and Who Decides.
Today’s event is about advocacy. I encourage you to speak up and speak out. Do not be afraid to Talk with your neighbors and friends and family. Call your elected officials and tell them why reproductive rights are so important. Avoid the morality conversation, not because we can’t “win” it, but because we are the only ones competent to determine our beliefs and apply those beliefs to our situation. Stand firm on our Constitutional Right to make these very important decisions ourselves because no one else can possibly be in a better position to do so than we are.
When women can control their reproductive lives without interference that’s good for women, their partners, their children, and for the world.
So Who Decides? We Decide! Thank you