Yesterday in worship I experienced one of those moments that was both amazingly wonderful and kind of awkward at the same time. Rev Vincent Lachina, the Chaplain for Planned Parenthood of the Northwest, and Mistie Tolman, the Regional Field Organizer for Planned Parenthood Votes, based in Boise, presented me with an award.
From their website:
“The Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest Silver Wings Award is presented annually to one outstanding clergy person who has made exceptional contributions and given ongoing support for the mission of reproductive justice and the work of the four Planned Parenthood affiliates in the Northwest (Washington, Alaska, and Idaho).”
I am beyond thrilled and humbled to be the recipient of this award for 2015. I have many wonderful colleagues who also are working for the flourishing of women, which of course, leads to the flourishing of all. I am grateful for Planned Parenthood and the way they speak out against bills that aim to restrict women’s access to health care. I am grateful for the affordable, preventive health care and contraception they provide to so many women. It is an honor to have my name associated with them.
The kind of awkward part of the moment was standing in front of the congregation while they cheered me on. I am so grateful for the gift of serving this congregation. Being supported, loved, and cheered by Southminster means more than I can express. I recognized I am much more comfortable in cheering them on than I am comfortable being cheered on. I recognize the gift in their applause. It didn’t make it any easier to stand there and take it. At the same time, it buoyed my spirit the rest of the day. Thank you, Southminster.
Here is a quick video that clearly explains why a woman should have the final choice for her health care.
And please don’t think we can just sit back and trust that women will always have the ability to make their own health care choices. Legislatures across the country are restricting women’s access to care and contraception. It happened in Idaho this year. Expect more bills next year.
What can we do in the face of these anti-women bills and attitudes?
Pay attention to the voting records of your legislators and listen to the platforms of candidates. Your vote matters. Even in Idaho. Especially in Idaho.
Speak out. Contact your representatives and tell them you oppose efforts to roll back the opportunity for women to make their own informed health care decisions.
I will continue to speak out for women. Hope you will too.