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Amanda, 29

I suppose I have always considered myself a feminist.  For 29 years, my mother has continued to share with me certain pieces of wisdom about loving, living, and learning as a woman. 
In my college years and experiences with women's studies courses, perhaps one of the most profound moments came when one of my classes viewed the film "Leona's Sister Gerri."  I will never forget the image of Gerri Santoro on the motel room floor.  The image of the 27-year old woman who bled to death from a botched abortion came to symbolize the importance of safe access to reproductive choice.  When I watched that film, I remember thinking how proud I was of my mom and her participation in a movement that brought us "Roe V. Wade."
During the film, I began to think about my place in the contemporary movement for reproductive freedom.  I wondered what I was supposed to be doing, who I should be talking to, where I should be marching.  And then I heard "it serves her right," a student's response to the horrific death of Gerri Santoro.  He then angrily walked out of the room, and never came back.
Was it anger that made him leave? or fear? or hatred?  I didn't know then, and I don't know now.  But I do continue to battle anger, fear, and hatred in my battle to protect the reproductive choices of women in this world. 
In lesson number too-many-to-count, my mom told me to remember him and his response to that film.  And to not forget how many more of "him" there will be.  But most importantly, to not ever forget how many, many, many more of Gerri Santoros there are... and will be.

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