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Celebrate those who fought so diligently for our freedom

My mother married a man who beat her to a bloody pulp on a regular basis. She married him because she was pregnant with me. She was 17, turned 18 just four days before giving birth.

She should have had the choice.

Every person in our environment supported the religious-fanaticism-driven anti-abortion campaign. These people who were my entire world growing up do not support funding for single mothers, they do not support funding to help women escape domestic violence situations. They label these extravagances as liberal handouts.

The pro-life family that would have destroyed my mother for considering abortion stood by while their daughter, sister or sister-in-law suffered years of horrific beatings.

I can still hear the words of one of my uncles defending my father. I heard every muttered, hushed word that insinuated that she had asked for it or deserved it.

The dangers of people sitting idly in ignorance is on grand display all over our planet. They pull their blindfolds comfortably into place rather than witness the destruction in the wake of their ambivalence or unwillingness to act.

As I’ve matured, I’ve gained an understanding of the environment that produced a woman so broken she didn’t care what her endless stream of short-term, overlapping “boyfriends” did to her daughter.

This year, with this supreme dumpster fire of an underhanded decision hanging over our women, I want to celebrate the women and men who fought so diligently for the toeholds of freedom that eventually became foundations for future generations of women.

Jeanne Bitz

Kahului

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