Society Magazine

My Freedom Ride Moment

Posted on the 23 July 2014 by Juliez
My Freedom Ride Moment

Whether it was the commencement speech given during my high school graduation last summer or comments made to me by adults throughout my first year of college, I have heard time and time again about how much “hope” adults have for our generation. But while adults seem to think that millennials are universally progressive, the terrible truth is that there is still a backwards, women-hating ideology and political program firmly in place in this day and age that jeopardizes every inch of progress past feminists have made towards liberation. Our generation can’t be complacent, but must fight to not only maintain but also actually ensure and expand the rights that women have already been demanding for years. We need all generations working together to ensure the safety and freedom of every little girl to dream of whatever future she wants, no matter who she is or where she comes from.

Last summer, I joined the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride. I rode with activists from all over the country through fifteen states, including the five that only have one abortion clinic left. The activists learned so much from each other as well as from people on the ground that have very little access to abortion services. We thanked heroic providers and spoke without apology in defense of the right to abortion for every woman in every state. It was educational, liberating, and inspiring. It was just the beginning.

We exist within the confines of a system that hates how abortion and birth control let women determine their own destinies. Doctors have been murdered. Clinics have been bombed. Funding has been cut. Access has been restricted. Stigmas have been accepted. These are all reasons why we need an abortion freedom ride moment.

In 2011, there were 46 abortion clinics in Texas. 21 clinics have already closed. Unless HB2 is overturned in the district court before September 1st, only 6 clinics will remain open. Closing clinics is a hate crime against female bodies. As women’s heartbeats are legislatively subordinated to blastocysts, embryos, and fetuses, women’s very lives are in danger. But so is the extent of what we are allowed to dream. When you are taught the fatal lesson that your body is not your own, you quickly forget how to dream in the first place, and that is what is at stake, too: Women’s hopes, dreams, and futures. Zip codes and state lines should not determine the worth of anybody’s future.

I am ready to throw some shorts and a toothbrush in a duffel bag and travel to Texas to lead a fight that we can and must win, and hope countless women will join me. Donate and be part of raising the funds needed to make this happen. Mobilize your friends in Texas or wherever you are: host freedom riders in your home, host viewing parties of the webcasts. Send your story to be read at a People’s Hearing. Tweet and share so that our impact does not stop in Texas, because it cannot stop there. It would be naive to assume that women’s rights opponents are stopping there: in fact, abortion access is being stole from women everywhere from the Midwest to the deep south to the rural corners of any community.

This is a critical juncture in the struggle for female autonomy and basic humanity. If you cannot join me in Texas, throw in to make sure that I can buy my ticket. Throw in to make sure that every person willing to put things on the line for women’s lives can get to Texas and that this ride can be commensurate with what’s needed to defeat these laws in Texas and the entire war on women.

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