Last Saturday at the Arizona March and Rally for Life, Andrea Friedman shared her heart for women and children before an audience over 8,000 compassionate Arizonans. She opened up by addressing her Latin-American brothers and sisters, and then closed with a message for the young women present.

As she spoke, I noticed a 10-year-old girl in a green t-shirt and pink headband, standing just below the podium. I could tell she was soaking up my every word, and the visual gave a symbolic testimony of the future Andrea’s working hard to build.

Her talk culminates with a call to redefine female empowerment and cultivate communities of support for women facing the unexpected—so important for this cultural moment! Read her full speech in English or Spanish below. 

Follow Andrea Friedman on @AndreaRFriedman for more.

“As a young woman and a proud latin-american, I’m honored to celebrate with you our dream of a world where every life is valued and no one faces unplanned pregnancy alone. But we have a lot of work to do, because women are being lied to. As young women, we are taught to resent our ability to have children. And if we do get pregnant, we are taught not to expect much of our lives. Because children are dream-crushers after all. You see, society has pitted us against our children and told us that we cannot have both–that we must decide between our happiness or theirs.

This is not what empowerment looks like. This is what fear looks like. So today, we join hundreds of thousands of our friends marching across the nation to declare two truths. 

First, we declare that being human makes you worthy.

We know that our society isn’t measured by how we treat the great among us—but by how we treat the voiceless, the disadvantaged, and the inconvenient. And in a world that questions the worth of people with disabilities before and after they’re born, we’re working to create a more inclusive world for everyone. And in a culture more polarized than ever, our belief in the worth of every human drives us to treat everyone, even those who disagree with us, with dignity and respect.

Second, we declare that we are her community.

We will invite her to see that her future is bright—that her desires for herself and her innate desires for her child can exist in the same world. Because we, as her community, are ready to stand by her. We will stand by her in our workplaces, on our campuses, in our faith communities, and in our homes.

As we begin a new decade, I challenge you to stand by her. To sit with her in the tension and let it mold you, to listen deeply, and to be her greatest advocate, not only for the next 9 months, but for the next 90 years. That’s true empowerment. Few things make the world stop and stare like love and compassion. We love women. And we love our unborn brothers and sisters. Today, we march for both of them.”

Spanish Version

Como una mujer joven y orgullosa de ser Latina, me siento honrada de celebrar con ustedes nuestro sueño de un mundo en el que se valore cada vida y nadie enfrenta sola un embarazo no planeado. Sin embargo, hay mucho todavía por hacer porque hoy en dia, a muchas mujeres se les está mintiendo.  Como mujeres jóvenes, nos enseñan a resentir nuestra capacidad de tener hijos. Y si quedamos embarazadas, nos enseñan a no esperar grande cosas de nuestras vidas. Porque, aparentemente,  los hijos matan nuestros sueños. Hoy en día, la sociedad por lo general nos ha puesto en contra de nuestros hijos y nos da el mensaje de que no podemos tener ambos, que debemos decidir entre nuestra felicidad o la de ellos.

Así no es como se ve el empoderamiento. Así es como se ve el miedo. Así que hoy, nos unimos por todo el país para declarar dos verdades.

Primero, declaramos que ser humano te hace digno.

Sabemos que nuestra sociedad no se mide por cómo tratamos a los grandes entre nosotros, sino por cómo tratamos a los que no tienen voz y a los desfavorecidos. Estamos trabajando para crear un mundo más inclusivo para todos. Y en una cultura más polarizada que nunca, nuestra creencia en el valor de cada ser humano nos impulsa a tratar a todos con dignidad y respeto.

En segundo lugar, declaramos que somos la comunidad de ella. 

La invitamos a ver que su futuro es brillante, que sus deseos para sí misma y los de sus hijos pueden existir en el mismo mundo. La apoyaremos en nuestros lugares de trabajo, en nuestras escuelas, en nuestras iglesias y en nuestros hogares.

Al comenzar una nueva década, te invito a que la apoyes. Siéntate con ella en su momento de tensión y deja que ella te moldee; escuchala a fondo y se su mayor defensor, no solo durante los próximos 9 meses, sino también durante los próximos 90 años. Ese es el verdadero empoderamiento. Amemos a las mujeres. Y amemos a nuestros hermanos y hermanas todavía sin nacer. Así que hoy marchamos por estos dos.

Andrea Friedman is the Marketing Director at Voices for the Voiceless, the nonprofit cultural movement to create a world where every person is valued and no one faces unplanned pregnancy alone. To connect with Andrea, email her at or follow her on twitter at @AndreaRFriedman

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