I marched today. I marched for so many things. I wanted my voice to be heard and for Washington to know that I will fight for what’s right. That was the sentiment for most people who attended marches across the country today. I hear you. I see you. However, there are many that did not understand the full grasp of what these demonstrations were about, and many who I am seeing felt left out. I want to start with those who felt left out, and felt that they didn’t belong at these rallies.

I’ve seen a few posts in my feed of people (men and women) who felt that they would not have been welcome at these demonstrations because they are pro-life. I’m sure there are others out there who felt they didn’t belong for other reasons, but this is the one I am seeing most, and I’d like to address them.

Yes, many of the women who attended may be pro-choice. And I agree, this could have been a core issue that would have sparked heated conversations. However, this issue is not the only one being talked about. Today was about telling Washington that we are a force to be reckoned with. That there has been progress in women’s health care, and work towards equal pay for equal work, and so many issues that effect female Americans, and it was a reminder to them, that we are ~50% of America’s population. We don’t want to see the progress that has been made stripped away. We wanted to have our voices heard. We want the issues in our daily lives to be addressed and considered. This was to remind all of Washington of our numbers and our ability to organize.

Now today was only the demonstration. Now that it’s over, the real work begins. For those that are pro choice, their job is to make sure the choice for abortion is available. That is their job. Just to make sure the supreme court continues to uphold the laws, that have been to this point, upheld. To allow women and their families to make the best choice for their families.

So this is where I want to talk to those pro-lifers. What are you going to do to ensure there are fewer abortions requested? This falls to all citizens though too. Will you call your representatives and say you want free/low cost birth control, and make it available to all who ask for it? Will you advocate for comprehensive health classes that teach how to have control over your sexual life and not teach abstinence only? Will you advocate for more adoptions so this is a more feasible option for both the birth and adoptive parents? In what ways can you help to lower the abortion rate? You have to start at the source, by the time someone is requesting an abortion, it’s too late. How will you try to prevent the need? When there is no demand, there is no supply. Colorado did this, and the abortion rate dropped 40% among teens in one year. You can read on of the articles about it here. What can you do to impact this issue without shamming women or their families, but rather by empowering them to have control over their lives and future; without this need? How can we find a way so that everyone wins? How can those who support abortion, help families who don’t want to make that choice? Our current method of hating those who don’t agree with us, or being scared to voice your opinion because it is unpopular is not working. It’s not getting us any closer to the goal. We need to find ways to make everyone feel like they are heard and empowered by the choices and lives they lead. What actions can we take that will benefit both sides?

Today was a call to action. To voice your opinion, and to say you will fight for what you believe in. Please do. Even if we don’t agree, lets have a civilized discussion so we can better understand each other. Who knows, maybe we can figure out a way to help each other voice our opinions in a better way, to get our points across to those we need to convince (the ones in Washington who can make it happen or not).

To those who marched today, for what ever reason you chose to march, thank you. To those who felt they did  not belong, or are not in support of these demonstrations, thank you. It is only when we can have a discussion about the issues that anything will be resolved. Today brought many opinions to the light, for those who marched and those who didn’t. Your voice matters however you choose to use it. Please, Please, continue to fight for what you believe in, even if it’s unpopular. But know, if you want things to change, or not change, you have to make your voice heard. Call your representatives. VOTE! And do everything you can for the causes you most believe in. You have the power to make change. How will you use it? I love you all!