Thank you, Serrin.
It is a special honor for me to be with you here to talk directly to those who have a huge impact on the lives of women and speak on a subject I am passionate about and have been involved with since my mother helped to form the New York State Right to Life Party. We marched here to support all women and protest the violence against them, legislated by Roe v. Wade.
In just 6 short months we will mark the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. And while many will remember the 40 million American children that were never born, I want us to also remember the 25 million women and girls in America today who have personally experienced an abortion.
I want you to remember
a 13-year-old African-American named Dawn Ravenell, who skipped junior
high one January day in 1985 to have an abortion. She died 3 weeks later
having never regained consciousness from this legal procedure. Which part
of safe, legal and rare would this be?
And as you revisit the issue of partial birth abortion, I want you to put yourself in the place of a woman who hoped that if she hid the pregnancy long enough she would have been have protected from abortion legally and found the support she needed. But instead she experiences three days of forced labor, risks her future fertility, and while she is awake, fully realizes what is happening to her baby. How does this help her?
Imagine the desperation of a woman so terrified of what her boyfriend, parents, employer, or school will do or not do to support her and is willing to swallow poison, RU486. And after 3-4 visits to a clinic, comes face to face with a recognizable fetus as she aborts at home, at work, in her dorm or doubles over in a grocery store. How is this good medicine?
We mourn our missing children with these women. And we remember the women who have been rendered infertile or died from legal but lethal abortion.
This is violence against women. This is the failure of medicine to help and heal. This is the failure of our American society to help and protect women. We need to address the reasons that women seek abortions and help them find the resources that are available to ease their situations. To coordinate the resources nationwide. Politically women have always sought to address the root causes. This isn't news. The early American feminists who fought for our right to vote, fought for the rights of pregnant women - for society to change to accept them, not for them to change to be accepted by society.
As my friend, Emmy winner and honorary chair of Feminists for Life, Patricia Heaton has said, "Women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy also deserve to experience unplanned joy."
This year, remember
the woman. Become her voice. And help us redirect this debate by focusing
on solutions -- because women deserve better. Thank you.
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