All Saints Day is a Catholic holy day that celebrates Saints both known and unknown. I am no Catholic but for me this day is about celebrating ancestors and those who have come before us. I have many ancestors to celebrate today. I also celebrate many abortioneers, activists, and generally awesome people who have made it possible for the world to be the beautiful place it can be.
I would like to celebrate both of my grandmother's today. My mother's mother was a devout Catholic and a republican. She raised my mother who grew up to be a radical liberal. She swore I would be my mother's antithesis, the conservative daughter she always hoped for. I am not that conservative woman. When faced with an unintended pregnancy as a young Irish Catholic woman in the 1950's she was sent to a maternity home and essentially made to give her son up for adoption. Her spirit lives on in her children and grandchildren and I celebrate the amazing woman she was. I am because she existed.
My mother's step mother was a liberal Unitarian Universalist. She told my mother about abortion as a teenager by explaining to her that she had an abortion. When I heard this story it only verified how amazing my Grandma was. She allowed her daughter to see that abortion was not some vague thing that happened to bad or dumb people. Abortion is something good women and mothers experience. I'm thankful amazing women like my Grandmother paved the way for women to have reproductive choice.
At my first job in abortionland I had an amazing supervisor who dedicated her life to making abortion accessible to woman in spite of economic circumstances. She trained other young abortioneers like my self to be compassionate, objective, and strong. She passed away a few years ago of a long term illness. Each day I am thankful I met this woman, her passion and fervor is part of what has sustained me in this work. When I started working for her I was young, lost, and damaged myself. She offered me a since of drive and passion that has stayed with me into my adulthood.
Finally, we must always remember the women who fought for reproductive choice in pre Roe V. Wade days. We must remember provider's who have lost their lives because they were willing to risk their lives to save women's lives. We must remember the women who have lost their lives all over the world because safe abortion was not or is not available.
On this day of All Saint's, known and unknown, I raise up my ancestors and the those people who have acted as saints so women can have safe and accessible reproductive health care.