Dear Debbie…

By Kelli Musick

Dear Debbie,

We read your New York Times interview and we gotta say, we love ya, but we didn’t know you felt this way. How’ve you been though? We feel like we haven’t seen you in a while.

We missed you at the last five Roe v. Wade rallies. You know, the day we stand out in the cold while anti-choice protesters shout violent rhetoric at us. There was the one time two of our organizers had to share a pair of gloves. We wish you could’ve been there to share yours.

Also, we missed you at the last anti-choice sieges in Louisiana and Alabama. You might have heard about it – young women were the leaders in clinic escorting and organizing.

Weirdly, we missed you at both the Planned Parenthood rally and the ReproAction candlelight vigil for Colorado Springs here in DC. Maybe we just missed you because it was raining?

Also, we haven’t seen you at the last few National Young Feminist Leadership Conferences in which over 500 college feminists join together from all over the country. It happens every year. You remember?

By the way, have you ever visited the Pink House? It’s the last and only clinic in the whole state of Mississippi. We haven’t seen you around. Young women come out every week to escort in spite of the hateful – and sometimes physically violent – anti-abortion presence.

Thanks for voting no on Anti-Choice Measure 6 in Florida, but we missed you on the ground in Tennessee, North Dakota, Colorado, and New Mexico where we tabled, phone-banked, hosted events, and canvassed neighborhoods. Did you get lost on the way there? Google Maps is hard sometimes.

Are you not an early riser? We didn’t get to connect with you outside of the Virginia State Board of Health meeting when they rolled back their TRAP laws. Maybe you didn’t have a sleeping bag like we did, in order to camp out at 3am to wait for the decision.

We’ve met with student organizers and change makers across the country who definitely are not afraid to say “abortion” and, more importantly, are not afraid to get out and fight for it. As campus organizers, we have the privilege of bearing witness to the immense amount of unseen grassroots community action that takes place on a daily basis. These actions, sustained primarily by young women, fuel the reproductive justice movement. They are the reproductive justice movement. These are actions as small as having one-on-one conversations with 140 characters and as big as hosting massive rallies in order to protect our clinics. These are our bodies, and our lives, that are at stake.

We are at the frontlines – we are the frontlines – and we’re sorry to say: we haven’t seen you around. We’ll be sure to send you an invitation next time. Please bring snacks.

The Campus Team,

Chelsea, Edwith, Kelli, and Mari

Note: This letter is written in response to the statement by Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz saying that there exists “a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided.”

By Kelli Musick

Kelli Musick is a National Campus Organizer at the Feminist Majority Foundation. Born and raised in Virginia, she spends her time advocating for women's equality, drinking too much coffee, and playing with her kitten, Tippy.

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