Protecting Our Right To Make Our Own Healthcare Decisions — Rachel B. Garrett

It’s been a tough week. As many in my community have shared, I experience so many feelings in response to the leak of the draft opinion that it will likely cancel Roe v. Wade.

anger: When I hear that our government in 2022 wants to remain pure and faithful to a document written by all white men and considered slavery, rape and women full of submission to men legally.

Hopelessness: When I stand by women leaders in powerful organizations, helping them find their voice and confidence – knowing at the very first level – they will never have power and influence when a minority in our country controls their choices and health decisions about their bodies.

fear: When I think of all the people who will not be able to get the care they need. Who can not afford to travel to countries where abortion will be legal. Who will be forced to give birth against their will – even in the most difficult circumstances, even when it hurts themselves.

shame: When I think about how I took this right to make my health choices of course. I know, it sounds like it should be the baseline of what is available to all human beings. A precedent of 50 years has given me a false sense of security that this issue has been settled. I have not done enough and I understand it now.

What I do next is still evolving and yet I wanted to share with you a few things as the plan crystallizes.

Personally…

  • I give myself a little more space. Saying no to things I feel I can not be present for at the moment. More time to write and feel my feelings.

  • I am honest with my people about where I am and do not pretend that everything is fine. It is not.

  • I show up for my daughters and the feelings they have. I model that it’s okay to cry and be scared and really angry.

professionally…

  • I hold a place for my clients who understand how to be there for their teams in an authentic and humane way.

  • I connect with communities of powerful organizers and leaders who are building ways forward. I am so grateful to be a part of the Chief at this moment and to connect to the leadership of many women with influence and power so that I can learn how I can use my skills to be most effective.

  • I’m looking for pro bono clients: those running for a local office who want to work on messaging, public speaking and navigating impersonator syndrome. I worked with a number of candidates in the mid-2018 period and I am currently working with an impressive and energetic candidate who ran for State House in Texas.

So my questions …

  1. If you know of any candidates running for local office who are seeking support, please email them to me.

  2. If you are part of work groups, protests, campaigns or other actions to influence state legislation to maintain access to safe abortions – please let me know. We can discuss ways I can use my platform to support your efforts.

I appreciate you and being a part of this community. Let’s be here for each other. Let’s do a good job together. Let’s defend our rights to be responsible for our body and our health decisions.

These choices directly affect the types of life, careers and impact we can have – and I’m here to support you to have a life and a career – on your own terms.

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