*Admittedly, I know there will be some dissent on this post. Consider yourself warned - pro-lifers, you'll want to check out now*
Courtesy The Texas Tribune, Bob Daemmrich
Today, Ava and I (and baby boy) marched on down to the Capitol, where we stood with over 7,000 other supporters of Texas women to rally for the right to choose (If you're confused about what's been going on in the Texas Legislature, see previous post here). For those uncomfortable with this topic, I ask you to keep one thing in mind: Being pro-choice doesn't mean that you're pro-abortion. You don't have to be willing to drive women to the clinic or perform the procedure yourself. It means exactly what it says: being for the right to choose. And, as a woman who has faced that choice before, and is raising a little girl who deserves to have the same choice should she need it, I proudly stood with the pro-choicers and Texas women and men who support women's rights this afternoon on the steps of our very own state Capitol building.
There are some, I am sure, that will say that an abortion rights rally is no place for a small child. And if there had been a chance of a violent demonstration, I would agree. But there was no such demonstration possible, and though she's too young for me to fully explain more than just the most rudimentary reasons why we were there ("to protect our rights and our bodies, and to ensure that we are treated fairly and equally by those who we put in charge to make rules for us"), I thought it was important for her to attend for many reasons, but for one in particular:
I do not want my daughter to grow up being a passive, apathetic participant in her own life.
I do not want her to think that politics do not concern her, or should be left up to a choice few.
I do not believe her decisions should be made for her, and never want her to become complacent to that idea.
No matter what she grows up to believe, I do not want her to ever, for one second, be under the impression that her voice doesn't matter. That a minority can be silenced, and do not have a means to make themselves heard. And, I'll admit, I wanted her to see the power of women in action. Hats off to the fellas that attended - there was an amazingly high amount of men there, some wearing small children, all in orange - but as women ourselves, I wanted her to see firsthand the power of standing up for herself. To see women, standing together regardless of background or experiences and raising their voices to let Perry know that being stripped of rights we fought for forty years ago would not be tolerated, it was powerful. Maybe my hormones were taking over, but I shed more than a few tears this afternoon.
One of the moments that was most powerful for me was seeing Ava sign her name to the thank you cards to Senator Wendy Davis. Never have three little letters been so perfectly placed (bottom center, if you didn't spot it):
Unfortunately, the rally was only until 2pm, so I didn't get the chance to hear Senator Davis's speech myself, though I have read the impressive transcript. Instead, we arrived minutes after things wound down, not wearing orange (I thought I had to work until 5:30), me limping from my broken toe (more on that later....), but we were there. And we were damn proud to be there.