Ayanna Pressley

#StoptheBan Rally - May 22, 2019

Ayanna Pressley
May 22, 2019
Print friendly

Can you hear me now?

Well as my sister just reminded us, there is nothing wrong with righteous rage. And as a woman of color, my whole life in public service I’ve been told to moderate and modulate myself for fear of being pigeonholed as an angry black woman. But I am outraged because this is outrageous.

When we were at the women’s march – how many of you were there?

We held signs that said “today we march, tomorrow we won” they didn’t believe us –

We ran, and we won. To come here, to shake the tables; to be the truth tellers; to be the justice speakers; to be the protectors of democracy. And as one of those truth tellers, let me give you a quick history lesson. This nation, was built on the backs and grown in the wombs of women – and our rights are not up for debate.

We are no political football. For generations, we have softened our language and moderated our tone – enough. The harasser in chief is supposed to be the leader of the free world. Did you hear me? The free world. You can’t have my freedoms. My body, my choice.

[Pressley and audience chanting, repeating] My body, my choice.

[Pressley] My liberty, my humanity, my bodily autonomy is not yours to shackle. We are pushing past the pain, the stigma, and the shame towards our collective liberation. No man, no institution, will come between us and our inalienable rights. When we share our stories, our pain, and our struggles, we liberate each other.

State Senator Linda Coleman-Madison, my fellow sister in service in Alabama, reminded us that republicans are always saying that they want government out of their lives. Out of their business. Out of their bedrooms. To which she replied, “And I want you out of my womb.”

Together, we will raise our voice, mobilize our communities, and legislate our destiny. Today, along with Senator Patty Murray, I filed a resolution affirming congress’ support for Roe v. Wade.

Affirming the rights of every person’s bodily autonomy, the right to the lifesaving and dignity affirming health care we need – the right to abortions. I call on the leadership of this house to bring this bill to the floor for a vote. Give us a vote. And today I called for the oversight committee to open an investigation in the systemic attempts of government, at every level, to shorten the lives and strip away the liberties of women. These inhuman laws are hurting families, and we won’t tolerate it.

I was sent here to legislate, and more recently I was greatly honored to be nominated by the pro-choice caucus as the chair of the Abortion Access Taskforce. I know people like to use the word war when they talk about what’s happening. These draconian, oppressive, life threatening attacks on the rights of women. These are attacks – but know this: It’s only a war if we fight back – and we’re gonna fight back!

I was sent here to legislate. To fight for justice, and I sure as hell am going to. Together in community, we are unstoppable, clear in our conviction, committed to the liberation of all people – we will win. My body, my choice!

Pressley, A. [Ayanna Pressley]. (2019, May 22) StopTheBan Rally - Ayanna Pressley [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tZhjvS6heM]. Retrieved on February 9, 2022 from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFtjr4S5tz4zqZT5cfenkIA.