May 14, 2022 – Cal Anderson Park, Seattle, WA
“Hello and welcome.
My heart is full looking out at all of you here.
We have been out here for decades, and we could see this train coming for miles and miles.
And today, at this pivotal moment in history, it is time to harness our power.
To read the violent and deeply out-of-touch words from Justice Alito was heart-wrenching.
And now there is no doubt about what is at stake.
Not only the right to make basic decisions about if, when, and how to start a family, but also the right to marry the person you love, to seek out medical support for fertility, and to use contraceptives.
Luckily, right now you are surrounded by people who know how to advocate for our basic human rights.
This is where change happens. This is why you are all here today. You understand that your voice matters.
You have power, even on the days that feel hopeless.
Today, I will talk about your power to vote, your power to organize, and your power to change the narrative.
There are efforts to take away our right to vote, especially for historically excluded communities, and to consolidate power among the privileged few.
I know our democracy is far from perfect. Progress has been slow, and nowhere near inclusive enough.
But our fundamental right to vote is a right that is worth fighting for.
Because our right to abortion and reproductive care is only as secure as our current state legislature.
This November, 87 percent of seats are up for re-election.
I’ll repeat that. 87 percent.
Early predictions show a high likelihood of our state shifting toward the right. And we are moving backward in terms of electing and supporting social justice champions of color.
Washington state has long stood for abortion rights. But access to abortion care is not equitable in our state.
We cannot address barriers to abortion care without social justice representation – at all levels of government.
The agenda to end Roe took decades and started with overturning elections in key states.
We are now a key state.
We need community-focused leaders to push for policies that unlock abortion access for everyone regardless of zip code, gender, race, income, or immigration status.
Electing strong leaders and holding them accountable for their promises happens when you exercise not only your civic rights but your grassroots power.
Which brings me to the second way you have influence – organizing.
Progress in this country has happened through the power of showing up.
Most people in this country believe in the legal right to abortion. The only way to demonstrate this is to gather and show how powerful we are as a collective. Like today.
This movement is one of love. It is about socioeconomic justice. It is about racial justice. It is about community. It is about believing in each other’s fundamental ability to make loving decisions for ourselves.
By showing up from a place of love, you have the power not only to prove that we ARE the majority. But also, to show that there is no place for hate here.
WE are the movement that is about love, life, and liberty.
Finally, the third way you can use your power is by speaking unapologetically and accurately about abortion.
Abortion is not a bad word. Say it loudly.
Abortion is essential healthcare. It saves lives. It uplifts whole communities.
Abortion impacts everyone. People from all genders deserve access to quality healthcare and everyone benefits when we have it.
Abortion is normal. We all know and love someone who has had one.
You DO have power.
Vote. Organize. Change the narrative.
Channel your rightful anger into loving action. THAT is how we win.