I Went to a Planned Parenthood Rally and This is What I Learned

This weekend, Planned Parenthood hosted a rally in Columbia, SC at the Statehouse. When I heard about it, I was hesitant to go. I’ve often considered myself “too political,” mostly because my views could be considered radical and “too liberal”. I didn’t want to be labeled as an "angry feminist". I thought about it some more though, and I realized that as a woman I have a lot to be angry about.

                                               source

The purpose of this rally was specifically to protect safe, legal abortion (I even have a T-shirt to prove it). Safe, legal abortions are not a commodity in many places in the world, and legislation introduced by lawmakers will make it less even common here. It's already hard to get an abortion; women must deal with not only the trauma of the procedure but also shame and ridicule from others. It is my personal belief that it is women who should be able to make the decision for themselves, not lawmakers in Congress, and certainly not men.

                                               source

So, I went to the rally. It was a dreary cold day, but the pink signs and smiling faces made it comforting. At the rally, I heard from many women with unique stories about how Planned Parenthood has helped them, and what we can do to help support women all around the world. I learned a lot. The most important thing I learned? All human rights issues are connected. Women’s rights are connected to black rights and immigrant rights and the rights of the LGBTQ community. We are all connected, and we must all help each other.

I was reminded of a famous quote by Audre Lorde: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”