Editor’s Note: Liza Love, an Arizona pro-choice activist, testified against House Bill 2838 at the Arizona House of Representatives on February 15, 2012. She shares her experience speaking out for reproductive rights.
I am one of millions. We all have some sort of story that reflects the positive impact of Planned Parenthood in our world. There are some of us who honor that role loudly, there are those who allow it to have a quiet sort of resonance, and there are even some who refuse to acknowledge it at all, but that makes it no less true.
We must get to a place where ridiculous ideology is unacceptable from our leaders, where science and facts are not vilified. That will happen when our voices are louder and more coherent.
I have wanted to give back to Planned Parenthood for a long time. Not having much monetarily to share, I have given what I could over the years, yet still felt a need to do more. When I read about HB2838, which would ban abortions at 20 weeks, even in the case of fetal anomalies, I was astonished! I had just moved and had a ton of unpacking to do, but I knew I would be at the hearing for HB2838 to make my voice heard. The plan was that I was going to show up at the Arizona House of Representatives early, meet with my fellow pro-choice activists outside, and get the story of someone who couldn’t be present so that I could share it on his or her behalf. It would allow me to support women and health and see the process of lawmaking all at the same time.
When I arrived at the Capitol, I ended up in this tiny room that was so full it would be an understatement to compare it to being packed like sardines! There were people everywhere! Rep. Cecil P. Ash, the chairman, was reading some guidelines for the hearing, and then some proposed amendments from Rep. Matt Heinz were being explained to the panel, and ultimately, all but one was voted down. That alone was eye-opening. First of all, Dr. Heinz is a friend to women’s reproductive health and overall well-being, and his efforts to make sure his peers are informed with facts and details was refreshing. Continue reading