Having worked for many years as a reproductive health advocate, and many more as a volunteer for the Democratic Party, the latest issue of Conscience magazine hit all too close to home. It served as a poignant reminder that the party many of us have fought tirelessly for does not always have our backs. As Tim Byrnes reminds us in his piece, the Democratic Party “is not, never has been and never will be the ‘Prochoice Party.’” This issue should serve as a rallying call for activists; it shows how easily the Democratic Party can throw our bodies under the bus in an attempt to score hollow political points.
Kate Stewart tackles the notion that we hear too often—that Democrats need to pitch a “big tent” on every issue besides abortion if they are to become nationally competitive. She pushes back on this notion by reminding us that, in fact, the majority of voters support a woman’s right to choose. Isn’t it ironic that even though the vast majority of Democrats, and even the majority of voters overall, support abortion rights we still have leaders like Nancy Pelosi who are willing to toss our rights in the trash if it has the potential to improve polling numbers? At what cost?
My work at Planned Parenthood strengthened my call to fight for our rights. Every day I got to see firsthand how women’s lives were improved by access to reproductive healthcare. These same women deserve leaders who will stand up, unapologetically, and defend every woman’s right to choose when, if and how to start a family, and that is why I keep fighting. This issue of Conscience should leave us all with one scary thought: without our voice, our bodies are up for grabs.
Berkshire Bridges–Working Cities Pittsfield Initiative