Hello all! My name is Jessica Lenehan and I speak to you today as a student from La Trobe University, and member of the Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights.
We’re here today, all of us, because we believe in a woman’s right to choose.
Because we trust women.
And we know that real choice means the ability to terminate or go to term, although we know which has the more obnoxious lobby group. And to have the support that you need along the way. To then be able to raise your children as best you can, to access doctors, nurses, midwives, doolas; to do what you want to do.
To not be blamed if you can’t afford nutritious food. To not be blamed for being poor, stressed, and sad.
So I want to talk to you about education, and making these options a reality.
This means being able to choose the sex that you want.
This means understanding the consequences of your decisions. And this is supported by education – education is a reproductive right. Access to quality education is so important for women and for their families.
The TAFE cuts are worse for women. This will come as no surprise, and is reiterated in this report. We know that when there are education cuts, when austerity measures come in, when the pressure is on, we know that this burden falls on the most vulnerable.
Education doesn’t just help us get by in this society; it also teaches us how to transform it. With education comes confidence, and with confidence amazing things can happen. Like all of these people coming out today to protest the bigotry and hate of the right-wingers who want to deny women the right to choose. Through education we can learn the history of these struggles, and with education we can win. We won in 2008 and we are never going back! Thank you.