The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

Abortion, actually.

Yep, you read that right. This week, we're talking about abortion.

A few weeks ago, Papa Francesco had this to say about abortion and the Catholic church. Much of it wrong.

Last week, the #GOPdebate had a lot to say about abortion. Much of it wrong.

I'm tired.

I am 27 years old, and for my entire life, the Roe v. Wade decision has been the law of the land. I am only 27 years old, and I am already tired of fighting against those who have spent my entire life (as well as the decade before my birth) trying to undo the protections that decision provides.

I'm tired of the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" as the only options. I'm tired of feigning apology for where I stand. I'm tired of resorting to compromise for the case of rape, incest, or the dubious phrase "threat to the life of the mother." Who determines what is and is not threatening to our lives?

I'm tired of men who have systematically threatened, oppressed, and injured women (for decades, centuries, millennia) through legislation, regulation, and theology.

Papa Francesco has been such a breath of fresh air in the ecumenical community on so many issues, and I'm so disappointed that he has reminded me of his Catholicism so harshly with this announcement.

Holy Father, women who have had abortions do not need your forgiveness. Declaring the upcoming church year a "Year of Mercy" is laughable. What year is not a year of mercy, in your line of work? How embarrassing.

And as far as the Republican candidates...boy, am I tired. During the debate on Wednesday I was in tears just from the premise that one of these people could be the President of the United States. These men bragged--honestly, bragged!--about how many years their states have gone without providing funding to Planned Parenthood, and probably other important healthcare providers in the process.

They--and the one woman on the stage, too--grossly (and grotesquely) misrepresented the struggle for reproductive freedom in this country. They--particularly the one woman on the stage--grossly (and grotesquely) misrepresented Planned Parenthood.

Here's the thing. I stand with Planned Parenthood. You may, also. I think I know what you mean when you say that, but in case you don't know what I mean when I say that, here's what I mean.

Women should have safe access to the health care that we need.
Women should have safe access to preventive care.
Women should have safe access to contraception, free of charge.
Men should have safe access to contraception, free of charge.
Women should have safe access to abortion on demand.

That's right. Planned Parenthood does so much for the people, y'all. They can be your primary care provider, and so many women I know rely on them for excellent care. Every Planned Parenthood employee or volunteer I have ever encountered has been professional and kind. They do an enormous amount of work, because millions of women in this country do not have safe access to the health care they need--or to enough of it. But even if PP didn't do all that other stuff--cancer screenings, annual exams, STD screenings, sex education, the list goes on!--I would stand with them. Even if Planned Parenthood was first and foremost an abortion provider, I would stand with them. 

I stand with every woman who is considering, has considered, will consider, is choosing, has chosen, or will choose abortion.

Not in spite of my education, not in spite of my Christianity but--straight up--because of those privileges and commitments, I stand with women. I stand with Planned Parenthood.

As my main man Martin Luther is famously quoted as saying: Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me.

A Thank You Note to Lin-Manuel Miranda