We recently had the pleasure of hearing Texas Senator Wendy Davis address the state of women’s health in the south at our annual CHOICES gala. As you probably know Sen. Davis filibustered an omnibus anti-choice bill, incredibly, for 13 hours; however she explained that she did not do it alone, instead she was able to put herself in other women’s shoes- so to speak.
“Appropriately and beautifully it was not me that successfully carried that filibuster past the midnight deadline. It was the thousands of people, women and men, who were there who had their own personal experiences that they wanted to share.”
At PPCO we believe that, similarly, our success and the success of our patients is based on the collaboration of many. Our staff, our volunteers, our board, our donors, our patients, our sexual education students all work seamlessly together to create a better and brighter future for this community that we all care about so much. We know this community is strong and by simply providing access to tools like quality affordable healthcare, including contraceptives and abortion, that our patients can forge their own paths to achieve whatever they want in life.
Here in Oklahoma, however, politicians and anti-choice organizations continually chip away at access to these simple tools for success. In the last few years alone we have taken several legislative hits which have taken a serious toll, but do not be fooled about the intent of these tactics.
“When we hear politicians [in Washington] talking about trying to close down that access to reproductive autonomy we all understand that not only are they talking about taking health care away from women, they’re talking about taking away that opportunity for that better tomorrow, their opportunity for economic vibrancy, because lacking the means to manage their fertility means lacking the means to manage their lives, it is just that simple.”
We frequently hear about the shrinking access to women’s healthcare, but Sen. Davis truly showed us the human fall-out caused by these political ploys. She asked us to stand in our sisters shoes to see the very real damage that has been done to women’s advancement in this country, and specifically in our southern region. The hurdles are many and the solutions may feel impossible, but Sen. Davis told us exactly where to start. By supporting our sisters.
“What might happen if we as women woke up to the reality that we are only as strong as the opportunities that are available to each of our sisters? If we fought alongside each other regardless of political perspective or station in life, understanding our shared stake in women’s advancement, if working women celebrated our sisters who have chosen a stay-at-home path, if our stay-at-home moms cheered on the women who are putting those cracks into the glass ceiling, if we tried to view things through each others perspectives, if we figuratively tried on each others shoes.”