On the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride:

"I believe that we are living in a truly pivotal point in time."

July 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a young woman on the East Coast:

Ever since I was old enough to know about the Woodstock music festival, I took more and more interest in exploring the era in which it took place. I liked tie-dye and peace signs and thought maybe I’d be a hippie when I grew up. As I got older I grew more and more passionate about learning about social movements and began to connect the context of the festival to the time period itself. The idea that so many kinds of people would come together in mass protest and resistance floored me and really struck a chord in the part of me that wanted to make a difference for others. When people asked if I could live in another time I always said the ’60s and ’70s, which I think now was a bit naïve of me. Often that period in time is romanticized—it too was a period where living as any kind of oppressed person was dangerous. Now, I think if anyone were to ask me that same question I’d say that I am perfectly content living now because I believe that we are living in a truly pivotal point in time and that I can be a part of an incredible historical shift in how society is organized.

As a “millennial,” it has become the norm to “not give a fuck” or to “YOLO,” ideas that are such bullshit. These ubiquitous phrases among youth are a reflection of the time period that we are growing up in, which is a world WITH abortion, with birth control, gay marriage, and with the most amount of incarcerated people in a country, creating this sense of comfort and hopelessness. However, these rights ARE under attack! I think that with the attitude our generation has, exacerbated by a false sense of comfort, sense of hopelessness, combined with the fact that people my age have not grown up around a positive image of abortion, can make the future look incredibly grave at times. But, it DOESN’T have to be like this!!

The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride: Ground Zero Texas is the means to channel the fury and anger felt by women nationwide; it is the means to galvanize the masses to fight for something bigger than themselves which will impact women years from now—either because of our efforts or inaction. I want to be a part of this channeling and this shift away from the status quo, a part of this greater movement to change history. I want to be a part of a movement that highlights women’s courage, power, and strengths, and the courage, power, and strength of ALL people. I want to be a part of a movement that tells women that they no longer have to be SILENT, SHAMED, and BEATEN; that they can take a stand, and that they possess the ability, along with many other people, to change the trajectory of history. For the first time in a long time I feel incredibly hopeful, full of excitement, and like I’m living for a purpose. I’ve always wanted to be a part of something bigger than me to ensure that even if I don’t know a person, I have the power to help change their reality for the better. The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride: Ground Zero Texas is giving me that opportunity and for that I feel truly grateful.

We have the chance to turn the tide and teach young women the importance of their bodies and teach them scientific facts about their bodies. Don’t you want to live in a world where you have control over when, and whether, you reproduce? A few people I knew in college had abortions and it became gossip. “Did you hear that so-and-so had an abortion?” Sadly, I think this is a reflection of the stigma and shame around not only abortion but around women making their own sexual choices. I want to live in a world where people champion women for making that kind of responsible decision. I want to live in a world where these women are deemed courageous, and smart, and full human beings; in a world where abortion clinics are never under siege.

If, however, a world like this comes to fruition we must not stop there and relax in our wins. Working towards social justice means having the drive and passion to continue to educate and fight for a change of mind and change of heart, and most importantly a change in how people navigate the social world or ACT on what they know. It means cultivating a movement of young leaders who are certain the next generation will inherit a better world. This will take dedication, courage, and sacrifice, but with a team of support anything is possible. So, millennials, will you join me and the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride to make this world possible?! This is something YOU CAN DO!, YOU CAN BE A PART OF!, and FOR A GREATER PURPOSE!

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