Commentary

Women’s March energy was about love and strength

I’m proud to no longer place my morality on others

October 6, 2021 4:45 am

A view of the Women’s March in support of abortion rights in downtown Denver at the Coloardo Capitol on Oct. 2, 2021. (Screenshot from video by Ron Guillot)

I’m writing to share a few thoughts on Saturday’s Oct. 2, 2021, Women’s March held on the west steps of the state Capitol. I’m a 54-year-old white male, Denver resident, husband and father of two. My wife is a physician and I’m a health care business executive. 

I was near the front and could not see the entire crowd, although women seemed to far outnumber men. The weather was Colorado October fabulous, and the energy from the crowd was vibrant, loving and one of strength and unanimity. I met up with a wife-husband couple and their son, a junior in high school. To my dismay, our junior in high school son chose to stay home to watch the University of Texas football game. (My wife attended UT for undergrad and medical school.) Like many progressives in our nation today, I’d prefer to boycott anything Texas, due to their restrictive voting, open carry, abortion restrictions and the Kafkaesque reality pitting neighbor against neighbor. 

In time, I hope our son will grow to realize the importance of what is happening in our nation and realize policy matters. 

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I grew up in New Orleans and until I moved to Colorado 31 years ago had never lived outside of Louisiana. I was baptized Catholic, became an altar boy and in my junior year of high school, became an evangelical Christian. I registered Republican at 18 and in college belonged to Campus Crusade for Christ. I attended the Republican Reagan-Bush convention while I was in college. Without ever being in a situation to face an abortion much less putting myself in others’ shoes, feeling their pain or understanding other religious views, I saw abortion as good-evil, black-white. 

During the last three decades of life’s experience, traveling the globe, reading and understanding the thousands of religious viewpoints, I’m proud to no longer demean, judge or place my morality on others. I’ve never met a person who wants an abortion or hopes more abortions occur, and I believe Americans are united in wanting fewer abortions, although they’re divided in how we make this happen, and of course, to those in a situation desiring one, whether to permit it or not. I don’t own a gun although I’m not opposed to people following the law to get a gun. I don’t smoke marijuana although I support its legalization and I don’t judge those who do. I prefer tequila, craft beer and avoiding shooting sprees.  

Listening to the speakers on Saturday, I took video, pictures and tried to capture the clever signs, T-shirt slogans and multiple women dressed as handmaidens. I took notes, too, hearing opinions and learning.

Why do so many judge, ridicule and demonize women for their own moral choice?

I was greatly pleased to hear how many people, including donors, volunteers and organizations are helping underserved Texas women leave the state to have an abortion. Listening, I found it laughable, sad and hypocritical that such a red anti-regulation state such as Texas has gotten so involved in regulating the bodies, uteruses and zygotes of women. Why and how did so many mostly white male Christian politicians become so adamant in preventing women the right to have an abortion? How would these men feel if the government told them they must reproduce X number of kids before a certain age and then, at another age, have a vasectomy. 

Why do so many judge, ridicule and demonize women for their own moral choice? If there is really a judgmental god who pushes people a specific way after death, let it happen in death so that people can live with their own moral compass on Earth. Having mediocre white men setting moral litmus tests is disgusting.

I used to be a religious zealot hypocrite judging and demeaning people for wanting or supporting an abortion. Now that I’ve met women, including one young girl impregnated by her grandfather, who have had abortions for a plethora of reasons I could not imagine much less understand, I believe adamantly in abortion rights. As a husband and father, I can relate to the challenges and responsibility of having a child along with feeling the pain involved in having a daughter impregnated in a rape or unimaginably horrendous scenario any parent would be grieved from. In addition, I can relate to a daughter married and pregnant with the baby of a husband who is mentally and or physically abusive.

Several years ago I paid for the abortions of women with painful experiences, including a few Catholic women with numerous kids. These women were poor and married to low-income Catholic men who would not allow their wives birth control. These women desperately reached out to find a way to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

It is maddening to see conservatives getting involved with women’s reproductive rights over the womb when they won’t bother themselves with protecting teachers and students with vaccines in schools. But many of us know why Republicans make abortion a single-issue topic — it is easier than electing problem solvers or legislating laws and of course, debating and discussing policies that can work for the majority of Americans. Seventy percent of Americans 30 and younger believe abortion to be a basic right although this doesn’t stop conservatives from treading on women.  

Forcing women to have babies is polarizing, isolating and dividing us further. It is demeaning, when it should be an empowering decision between a woman, her doctor and whatever god or god she does or doesn’t believe. Six in 10 women who have an abortion are already moms — it’s not like they don’t know what they are or are not getting into. One in four women in our nation, women from all parties and religions and socioeconomic groups, will have an abortion by the time they are 45. 

I don’t have all the answers although I have plenty of questions, including, why do so many believe they own moral authority for millions of others, including my own daughter? It is a cliche, although it is also common sense: if you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. And leave my daughter the hell alone.

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Ron Guillot
Ron Guillot

Ron Guillot is a start-up health care executive, investor, husband, father and son.

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