From One 25 Year Old to Another

This is an open letter to Scott Walker’s campaign press secretary, Alleigh Marre, who is currently taking heat for having previously expressed support for Planned Parenthood in a blog.

Dear Alleigh,

I’m really sorry to hear that your job might be in jeopardy because you support Planned Parenthood. While I’m not interested in working for Scott Walker myself (or any Republican for that matter), I can admit that your position sounds impressive. I can imagine that as a young woman who is a Republican, you must have been pretty pleased to land that job. The fact that your boss is being pressured to cut you loose due to the outdated, minority views of extremist anti-choice groups is really unfair and also very discouraging. I’m certain that it stings to have all of your skills and potential boiled down to a single (albeit important) issue and I hate that it’s happening to you.

That’s why I want you to know that I support you. And that I’m encouraging you to hold fast to what you believe. You might lose your job right now and that’s awful. But you and I and most other 25-year-old women are better than the current party-politics that have turned reproductive healthcare into a partisan issue. We know that it’s not. It’s a human rights issue. And so I really, really hope that in spite of the pressure I’m sure you’re under, you won’t back-pedal on what you know is the truth: women should be trusted to make their own decisions about their reproductive health and Planned Parenthood is an amazing organization that trusts women.

If you refuse to back down on that point, you’re setting the stage for better days ahead on the issue of reproductive rights, one where we can stop questioning and prohibiting women’s ability to decide for themselves. I would even say that by standing your ground, you’re building a stronger Republican party, one that isn’t synonymous with anti-choice and doesn’t kowtow to the kind of organizations that will only continue to alienate women voters. I’ll admit that the idea of a stronger Republican party doesn’t necessarily appeal to me but I am entirely in favor of a future where women’s health is no longer a political bargaining chip.

So I hope you will continue to be as strong and as bold as you’ve been so far in expressing yourself and your true opinions, even if the cost up front is high. I think that the future payoff for you, for your party, and for women might be worth it.

With respect and esteem,

Dayna Long

President, Wisconsin National Organization for Women