“Conservative,” “right wing,” “religious,” and “anti-choice,” are among the descriptors that listeners at the Lesbian, Liberal and Pro-Life Event called out when asked to describe the pro-life movement.
Cecilia Brown, 45, the president of the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL), will not be stereotyped.
“I am a green party member; I am a lesbian,” Brown said. “I am Buddhist and Hindu. I am not pro-life because of Christianity.”
On Thursday night, a new student organization called University of Miami Respect Life invited Cecilia to tell her story at the University Center.
In September, the organization set up a prenatal exhibit and fundraised to support non-profit pregnancy clinics. The group will also have a BBQ and host a failed abortion survivor April 25 on the Hecht-Stanford Bridge.
“We’re a pro-life group that takes part in activism against abortion,” Kelsey Hazzard said.
Cecilia Brown is a vocal activist that shares a common view against abortion. Though she now lives comfortably as a lesbian with her partner of 16 years, Brown came from a household that didn’t accept homosexuality.
“How do you prove you’re straight?” Brown asked. “You sleep around.”
Brown became pregnant as a freshman in college. Her peers told her abortion was the best alternative, and the doctors told her the procedure would be simple.
“They lied to me,” Brown said.
Three years later, Brown got pregnant again. This time, however, a friend pointed her towards Birthright, an outlet for pregnant women and she had the baby.
Brown decided to talk about her abortion 10 years later. She found PLAGAL after realizing that many pro-life organizations are also anti-gay and lesbian.
“At the ‘March for Life,’ I have been arrested and harassed because I am a lesbian,” Brown said.
Now, as president of PLAGAL, Brown must find allies in other pro-life organizations.
“I would like to see the pro-life movement expanded, even if it means making friends with the enemy,” Brown said.
PLAGAL is devoted to saving the lives of the unborn. It is not, however, devoted to making abortion illegal. Brown is convinced that the best source of preventing abortions is educating youth, both gay and straight, about their sexual health.
“We do not believe in abstinence-only education,” Brown said. “We are preventing abortion by preventing pregnancy in the first place.”
Brown is also devoted to educating pregnant women about their options and ensuring the improvement of child development services for women in need.
Brown ended her candid lecture to great applause.
“Being pro-life is being pro-women,” said Marie Cushmore, 19, who was at the event as a member of UM Respect Life. “The community doesn’t do enough to support women.”
Kelsey Hazzard: firstname.lastname@example.org