Stop the Bans Rally & March

Honored today to be part of the Stop the Bans Rally & March in Orlando today. Inspired by the other other speakers: Alyssa Leann, Guerdy Remy, Amaris Leon, JD, Kim Porteous, Stephanie Pineiro, Dr. Jennifer Sandoval, Nathan Bruemmer, JD, Representative Anna V. Eskamani and by the estimated 1,300 attendees who braved bright sun and temperatures in the mid-90’s.

My printed remarks are below.

Here are links to some Facebook Live session that captured part of them.

Video 1: Middle of my remarks (1:40) (video is good for crowd context)

Video 2: End of my remarks (1:20 and then continue to other speakers)

Stop the Bans Rally & March, May 26, 2019
Lake Eola, Orlando, Florida

My friends…
I come to you today as a faith leader.
I come to lift up the voices of so many people of faith, laity and leaders,
who affirm the absolute right of women to access abortion care.
They do that, we do that, not in spite of our faith, but because of our faith.

Within our various traditions,
we may ponder different theological questions.
Yet, together, we can affirm that right of conscience,
so critical to authentic faith. (Video 1 begins)

The right of conscience says that
a woman faced with an unplanned or complicated pregnancy
is the only one, The. Only. One.
with the wisdom, let alone the authority,
to decide how to proceed.

A woman may, as she is guided, choose to consider
the teachings of her faith tradition,
the counsel of a trusted leader,
or perhaps other sources of insight and support.
Yet, ultimately, she is the one, The. Only. One.
who must make that decision.
who must Exercise. Her. Right of Conscience.

100 years ago, today, women voted in an Orlando election for the first time.
We have come so far. (Video 2 begins)
There is still so much work to do.

With my colleagues at the Interfaith Coalition for Reproductive Health & Justice,
I affirm the moral authority of women.
I reject any government interference or coercion.

I am here because it is not OK…
It is NOT OK…
for some people of faith
to assert that their particular understanding should be the law of the land. (Video 1 ends)

I am here because abortion bans are an assault on my faith.
They are an assault on the very concept of religious liberty.
which is so critical to who we are as a nation.

I am here to affirm you, my sisters, our allies,
and our daughters and granddaughters, and generations to come.

We must stop the bans!

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