Our clinic administrator in San Antonio, Lucy, spoke at the Lifting Faith Voices in Reproductive Justice Event in Dallas last week to a crowd of pro-choice people of faith. Having worked in our McAllen location before transferring to San Antonio, Lucy spoke about why she believes that a woman’s decision to have an abortion should have nothing to do with her religion, ethnicity, or culture and everything to do with her own individual situation and identity.
Below is the Lucy’s full speech, which received a standing ovation from the crowd:
Thank you to all this evening’s co-sponsors for allowing me to speak to you tonight.
My experience is just one of many. I’m not only here to represent myself, but also my Whole Woman’s Health family and people across the state of Texas who continue to fight these laws that directly affect women in our communities including women within the Rio Grande Valley. We see and care for women of every background, every faith and from every economic situation. We talk to them, we hear their stories, we hold their hands and we have even listened to their prayers, their hopes and their fears.
The reason why I choose to do the work that I do is because I believe that every woman regardless of her ethnicity, culture or religion has every right to make a life changing decision freely because it’s what best for her individual situation. It had nothing to do with what lawmakers feel or what their beliefs are. This decision may or may not be the easiest decision for her to make, but we have to respect and understand that it’s the best decision for her.
Throughout my years as a patient advocate with Whole Woman’s Health, I’ve heard the most saddening, horrific stories. Stories from women who came from a catholic, traditional and even most cases- a low income household where family planning- including abortion- was never a topic of discussion.
Many women came to us feeling frightened, confused and ashamed. They question their religious and spiritual values, often thinking that they will be judged or ridiculed by us, their friends, their communities, their families or even by their own religion. And so many times, we have to help her with an unconditional, non-judgmental approach, deconstruct those feelings about her values and beliefs in a way that she understands that abortion care is a part of her reproductive options.
It’s important to me and to my Whole Woman’s Health family that we continue to educate women in our communities about the misinformation about abortion care. It shouldn’t be this taboo thing. Its healthcare and it’s necessary.
Those in Austin and Washington who make decisions and choices for these women don’t know them or what’s best for their individual situations. We know them. We know their struggles first hand.
We share in their heartache and share in their relief and joy at finding a safe place where caring providers will listen to them and help them get the care that they need.
I thank you for honoring my work with Whole Woman’s Health here tonight, but I am just one of many who care for the women of Texas and care about what’s right for them, for their health and that of their families.
We stand with the women of Texas and I’m proud to be here to accept your appreciation on their behalf.