On January 19, our Hannah Servedio spoke at the 2019 Cleveland Women’s March. Here is her speech:
Hi everyone – My name is Hannah Servedio. I am the Northern Ohio Field Organizer for NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, the state’s leading advocacy organization dedicated to advancing reproductive healthcare access through policy & legislation
Title aside; I am a sister, a daughter, a proud Jewish woman, an activist, a clinic escort, a dedicated community member & a person who so deeply believes in the core value encompassing this march: that women, all women, have the inherent right to liberty.
Because of that value, I am here today to say loudly & unapologetically that I am pro-abortion.
Not just pro-choice, but pro-abortion.
Not publicly rallying, but privately shaming & stigmatizing.Pro-abortion.
I am also pro-birth control, pro-adoption, pro-maternal healthcare, pro-paid family leave, pro-ending pregnancy discrimination. I can be all of those things at the same time. I am pro-whatever decision you decide to make with your body – whether you want to stay home & raise children, or you want to go down a different path entirely.
However, specifically as the legal right to safe & accessible abortion care continues to be chipped away at by our elected representatives, it is our responsibility to tackle the stigma & speak out consistently.
But – the one issue voter argument, right?
Progressives need to leave abortion alone & focus on other types of policy, right?
We can’t do that. Because the root of a strong, prospering, equitable society starts with the ability of every single person to have control over when, if & how they start or increase their family. Reproductive policy is economic policy. Reproductive rights are human rights.
1 out of every 3 women in this country have had or will have an abortion at some point during their lives. For some people this is an emotional experience, for others, it is the best decision they will ever make. Regardless of why someone chooses abortion, we must respect the freedom to make that choice.
On behalf of these women, on behalf of the ones that died because of lack of access, on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of women in this country already living “post Roe”, we must continue to fight this fight.
Listen, this march is not about a catchy chant or a picture of a uterus on a sign. This march is about recognizing that we are all bound to each other. This march is about acknowledging the lived experiences of Black women, Asian women, Jewish women, bisexual women. Muslim women, Christian women, disabled women, transwomen, poor women, elderly women, addicted women, incarcerated women. Women you disagree with. This march is about looking within our own movement to do better & authentically work together on behalf of these injustices.
In the words of Rabbi Rami Shapiro, doing an interpretative translation of words from the Talmud: “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it”