Yesterday in the Virginia House of Delegates, several women stood up to speak about the 45th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision guaranteeing a woman’s right to privacy in the context of abortion. In the first video, below, following the conclusion of Del. Kaye Kory’s speech recognizing the 45th anniversary, fresh(wo)man Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler (D-Virginia Beach) argues that the so-called “Day of Tears” in Virginia should be replaced by the “Day of Women” –
“…considering the number of women standing up, speaking out, and the #MeToo movement, and the record number of women now elected to this body…let’s transition to a tone of celebration and empowerment…I am proud to stand alongside Debra Rodman, the other Democratic freshman delegates…to present HR14, establishing January 22 as the ‘Day of Women’ and encourage Virginia to celebrate all women in leadership. Let’s work together to empower women…today is the day that we can send a clear message to the all the women, my daughters and all of the daughters in the Commonwealth that they are valued and that we respect them.”
Now, check out the powerful, emotional speech by Del. Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax)
“…Many of us who are standing up for abortion rights are mothers, we are fathers, we are parents who have chosen to give birth to children and we very much support families making their own decisions.
I saw a movie this weekend that reminded me of this debate, it was called “Three Billboards.” And it started out with a woman who put three billboards in her community speaking out against an injustice that she saw in her personal family. And what ensued, without spoiling it for all of you who haven’t seen it, was her speaking up to express her concern and valid problem ended up in mass violence in her community — fighting one against the other. People were not listening to one another; they were they were coming from a point of their own personal feelings of guilt, of sadness, of anger, and they stopped listening to one another.
You all in this room have heard me talk about the reason that I find abortion as something that’s really important because I was told I should never ever have another child again because I had a health problem. And I was gonna give a canned speech that I gave earlier today, but I decided not to do that. What I want us as all as an entire body here today to think about is that we don’t know the other person’s perspective and you don’t know what’s going on in the life of the people who are trying to make these decisions for themselves. And I don’t believe that politicians are the best people to make that decision.
It’s not saying that it shouldn’t happen for some families, and I’m very glad that Mr. Collins is with us. I’m glad that I have my two children. I love my children. I think everybody in this room loves their children and loves their families. But that doesn’t mean that abortion is always the wrong choice for every single person. And we have a responsibility in our communities, to our voters, to say you probably know better than I do on this personal decision.
Over the weekend, we saw the the March happened again and there were tens of thousands of people who came out; my scarf today has signs from that and I’m really proud of that. But I think what it reminds me is that people are thinking about this, people are angry. We do need to stop using this as a political football. I don’t I don’t want to see in our body where we can’t work together anymore because we’re so angry at one another based on our personal private feelings, whether it’s we were adopted, whether someone had to make a very difficult decision in a time of crisis.
We owe it to one another and to our state of Virginia to do better than that. And I’m asking you all to listen to me, to listen to your heart, and to understand that it’s not who can get the biggest headlines and it’s not who can get the biggest fundraising out of this. These are real people’s lives at stake and unless you have been asked in a doctor’s office to make that difficult decision and told either you’re gonna live or your child will live and should that child still have a mommy, you don’t have the right to make those decisions.
So, I have a bill called the whole woman’s health I had it last year and it didn’t get a hearing and I made a decision to speak out about it in public, but it will repeal the unnecessary provisions that are medically unnecessary on a right to choose. And I’m going to ask you all to think about – you know, you can still talk to your your house of worship, you can still talk to the people that you love and care about. But I don’t think we in this body deserve to make that decision for somebody else. And if you really think that we do, I’d love to have a personal conversation with you, because I think this is too important and too powerful and you’re not going to have to live with those consequences, somebody else is gonna have to do that. Thank you.”
Finally, for a view from the (far) right, see below for a speech by Del. Kathy Byron (R-Bedford), who basically spews out a string of demonstrably untrue, misleading statements and Fox “News”-style talking points. Sad.