An event planned for the day after President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration is supposed to be meant to give voice to people who were "marginalized" by his campaign, but at least two pro-life groups have pledged to join in.
Organizers of the Women's March on Washington offer the following description of their event:
On Jan. 21, 2017, we will unite in Washington, D.C., for the Women's March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families—recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized and threatened many of us—women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, native and indigenous people, black and brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women's March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. Hear our voice.
But if the event is going to focus on the marginalized voices of women, the leaders of Stanton Policy Center, Sound Legal Group and other pro-life groups from across the nation want to make sure it's every voice that is heard.
"As a woman who has spent most of her life standing up against injustice in the world and promoting the dignity of women and the sanctity of every human life, I am thrilled to be a part of the Women's March," Stanton Healthcare and Stanton Policy Center founder Brandi Swindell said. "We are entering into a critical time in our nation, and women deserve to be a part of the discussions and to have their voices heard."
Swindell, who is organizing the pro-life groups' participation in the march, said she stands with women across America who:
- want Obamacare overturned so women can be given the power to make decisions about their own healthcare and what services they pay for,
- believe that women deserve better than Planned Parenthood and that the abortion-giant should be defunded—and that those funds should be reallocated to whole women's healthcare centers and
- believe that women deserve every opportunity and choice to succeed in this world and to make their lives better—none of which includes abortion.
The groups will gather at the U.S. Supreme Court building at 9 a.m. EST on Saturday, Jan. 21, and then walk to the March for Women rally together. Stanton Policy Center Senior Adviser Kate Bryan, another pro-life participation organizer, said the Women's March on Washington has given women from across America a platform from which to make their voices heard in Washington, D.C., and its "inclusive approach" has opened up the opportunity for every woman—no matter her age, race, background, politics or faith—to have her voice heard in the public square.
"Women throughout all of history have been the bedrock of our society and have always been a critical part of the fight against injustice," she said. "I stand with women across our great nation who stand against injustice and follow the original ideals of the feminist movement, seeking to promote the dignity and respect of every human being—no matter their age, gestation, background, race, politics, faith or any other factor.
"Every life is precious and deserves to be protected. And women deserve better than abortion."
Catherine Glenn Foster, a civil rights attorney and founder of Sound Legal Group, said that while the Women's March on Washington claims to be about human rights, nonviolence and confronting injustice, inviting groups such as Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League as co-sponsors has failed to live up to that mission. She said the organizers have failed to confront the injustice already staring them in the face.
"Human rights and nonviolence apply to everyone, regardless of age and disability, and are most powerful and most urgent when serving those who need it most," she said. "It's time for the Women's March to speak up for all women."
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