On the heels of a fantastic day of solidarity and compassion, I am again re-fueled in this fight for reproductive freedom. Although I feel re-energized and hopeful, I’ve seen negative comments on the DC Walk for Choice 2011’s Facebook page with which I disagree. Comments that the event was poorly advertised, the turn-out was depressingly small, that it should have been on the Capitol steps, etc. etc. etc. I feel safe in saying that most of those who came to Upper Senate Park on Saturday felt as I did, and were thankful for the opportunity to organize and demonstrate our opposition to the injustices of current legislation.
Whenever I am surrounded by like-minded people who believe that reproductive rights are basic human rights, I can’t help but feel proud of the work I do. At the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), we work to bring the moral voice of religious communities to the forefront of pro-choice efforts to ensure reproductive freedom for all people. It is a unique experience to work alongside people of faith who understand the importance of prevention, who believe that sexuality is natural and a part of being human, who see the need for access to sexual and reproductive health care services, and who are pro-choice because of their spiritual beliefs, not despite them.
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As a young professional working for sexual and reproductive rights, I often am confronted by those who do not think young people care as much about these issues as they should. But I can attest, there are plenty of people from my generation who care deeply and do everything in their power to fight for reproductive freedom. There are also many young men and women who consider themselves spiritual or religious who do not take our current reproductive rights for granted. My generation is powerful; we are large in numbers and know how to use social media and new technology to spread information rapidly. If properly mobilized, nothing can stop us!
In my opinion, the DC Walk for Choice was a complete success. 500+ people wearing orange, holding signs, listening to inspiring speakers, and chanting and cheering for reproductive freedom…how can that be categorized as anything other than a success? And guess what? It was all organized by a handful of college students in less than a week, spreading the word purely through word of mouth, Facebook, and Twitter. Who says young people don’t care as much about these issues as they should? MAJOR KUDOS—Lily Bolourian, lead organizer for the DC Walk for Choice 2011, for taking the initiative and giving Washingtonians an outlet for their GOP frustrations, as well as Katey Zeh, RCRC’s Board Member and United Methodist, who spoke on Saturday on behalf of pro-choice people of faith everywhere.