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This year we’ll be lobbying, and rallying, for passage of the Comprehensive Sex Education bill. Thanks to the abstinence-only crowd, and the folks at MCCL (Morons Challenging our Civil Liberties), MN has seen an alarming upswing of teen pregnancies, 1 in 4 teens contracting an STD, and a 13% rise in HIV cases, all because we’re not teaching our students what they need to learn to keep them safe and healthy. Our students deserve better, and it’s up to all of us to make sure they have access to age appropriate, comprehensive sex education.
I’ve been attending Pro-Choice Lobby Day since the late 70’s, first in Illinois, and now in my new home state of Minnesota, and I can tell you it’s one of the best experiences of the year for me. To be surrounded by so many great Feminist activists, and to be able to advocate for reproductive justice with my Legislators, face to face, is very empowering.
The speeches at the noon rally are great–especially this year when one of our own, new MN NOW Board member Kriss Hakala, speaks about her fight with the Forest Lake school board to make sure her sons get the best education. Who better than a Mother of teens, and a NOW activist, to speak on this subject? I’m in awe of her tenacity and passion, and you will be, too.
This will be my 2nd year presenting the Break Out Session on “Multi-Generational Voices For Choice,” a topic near and dear to me. For my first few Lobby Days in MN, I was surprised to see that I was one of the very few gray-haired activists in attendance. Where was the Pre-Roe generation of mine? The ones who stood on the front lines for the battle for reproductive rights in the 60’s and 70’s? Our presence, and our Voices for Choice, are needed NOW more than ever.
We remember what life was like before Roe. We’ve lost Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and Aunts, due to back alleys, coat hangers, knitting needles, do-it-yourself illegal, unsafe abortions. We have to realize that those rights that were so hard fought, and won by us, are being eroded,step by step, state by state. NOW is the time for us to get back on those front lines.
We of the Pre-Roe, Menopausal Militia generation need to stand with our younger sisters and brothers, to let them know that we’re right there at their side. We need to be there to remind our Legislators what it was like Pre-Roe, and to say HELL NO, we won’t go back to that. We need to show the state that all of us, Feminists of all generations, stand together in this, what seems to be, a never-ending battle for Reproductive Justice. We will NOT back down, We will NOT go backwards, but we will March Forth, together. I hope to see you all there, look for me. Hopefully, I’ll be one of the many gray-haired activists in attendance.
About Shannon Drury
Minnesota NOW is a multi-issue, grassroots organization that’s been fighting for equality and justice since 1971.