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basically BECKY blog

  • Rebecca Branle

Know what's amazing about hope? The more you share it, the more you have...kind of like love. Hope grows. Hope floats. Hope rises above fear and doubt and hate.


This weekend, hope visited our barn over and over and over again. It came as mother-daughter duos, as husband-wife teams, as groups of girlfriends; it came solo, and left feeling anything but alone. Hope came in honks and winks and waves. And every single time, with every single beautiful person, my heart swelled and smiled.


I learned something this weekend. I learned that love doesn't look like chasing someone for their approval. And life isn't well spent wearing yourself out trying to earn love that comes with a list of conditions, or that renders your accomplishments and sufferings invisible. Chasing that kind of love is a hard habit to break, but I'm committed to the cause.

Because, this weekend, I saw that love is all around me. It's my husband cheering me on, my kids celebrating with me, and my army of brave and beautiful girlfriends who are fighting this fight alongside me.


Our Liberty Barn was my expression of hope. I wanted to give it to passersby. I wanted them to know they weren't alone. I didn't realize it would return hope tenfold, that it would attract the Biden campaign and that they'd come and give our family this gorgeous gift, but it did. And my goodness guys, there are a lot of amazing people in this world.


Thanks. xoxo

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  • Rebecca Branle

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

If we just got rid of men, we could eliminate abortion.


Sounds crazy, right? But it's true. Men are a part of this equation, yet when so many pro-life men call out abortion, they point directly to "baby killing" women. They spit their sanctimony at women who have the nerve to want rights, but they never mention the men.


And guys, we wouldn't be here without you.

In a year that's full of examination, I think we need to reexamine the narrative surrounding abortion. I think we need to recognize that there's a man at the heart of every one.


Sometimes, the man is a rapist. Sometimes he's an abuser. Sometimes he was the love of her life, but when he found out, he walked out. Sometimes he demands the abortion. Sometimes, he's a loving and supportive partner. Sometimes he's a heartbroken husband, holding her hand, as they both mourn a child with health issues too devastating to be compatible with life.


Always, he's there, whether in the shadows or in the room.

This truth hit home for me in a hard way, decades ago. As a young pro-lifer, I met a girl. She was a devout Catholic and she was endlessly kind and adorably quirky. She became a cherished friend, and she told me the story of her first love. She fell for him the way teen girls do, head over heels, heart over mind. She would have done anything for him and in her quest to please him, she become pregnant. Her Catholic faith and her love for him made her decision easy, keep the baby. But he, enrolled in private Catholic school, wanted to forego faith in favor of his already planned future.


They lived in the city and, one day, a week or so after discovering her pregnancy, she was walking home from high school and was jumped by a crew of boys. Their aggression was aimed at her belly. Her first love, the holder of her heart, had ordered them (kids themselves) to do this. He wanted the baby gone.


Decades later, my memory is fuzzy, but my impression is that the boys were too scared to do real damage. Still, the damage was done. She was pregnant, and scared. Soon after, she legally ended her pregnancy.


I think we can all listen to this story and understand that there wasn't some grandstanding girl here, beating her chest and proclaiming her rights. There was a terrified teenager whose heart was broken, trying to survive, and there was a boy who was willing to break her, quite literally, to avoid consequences. It's lot more complicated than "women are baby killers."


I'm not trying to change your minds about abortion, but for heaven's sake, please change your words. If you're against abortion, understand that abortions occur because of men's actions, just as much as because of women's decisions.


We all want less abortions. We all want less trauma. Men are an important part of achieving that goal. We need to raise our boys to appreciate their role in unplanned pregnancies. The only way to protect from STDs and pregnancies is for the man, or the boy, to wear a condom. And yet we don't hold men and boys accountable. We shrug our shoulders and say, "but he says it doesn't feel good." We excuse them of their responsibility and make it the woman's alone.


STOP.


We need to raise our boys to respect women, and all beings. We need to model kind behavior and call out the inexcusable. We need to hold them accountable.


If there were no men, there'd be no more abortions. It's true, but as a woman who is married to a strong, supportive, secure, sensitive, silly at the right times (and often at the wrong times) man, and as a woman who is raising her boys to be the same for their future partners (minus the silly at the wrong times part), I wanna keep the guys. I just want to tell them the truth about their role in our lives.


I wrote a few weeks ago about the role affordable healthcare plays in preventing abortions, and it's still such a valid point, but I missed this vital message - if you want to create a world with less abortions, men are going to have to "man up." Because if men wore condoms, and if men didn't commit rape or abuse...imagine the abortions we could prevent. Imagine the trauma we could eliminate.


We can't forget the guys.


And we can't continue the neanderthal narrative that blames women's clothing choices for rape, women's intoxication for assaults, or the woman alone when we discuss abortion.


Because there's a guy there. Always.


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  • Rebecca Branle

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

On Cannon Hinnant, a 5-year-old white child murdered by his black neighbor, and used by racists to denounce a movement:


Know what’s amazing about our hearts? They are filled with infinite amounts of love. When we have another child or meet another forever friend, we don’t somehow subtract from the love we give the others. We love them all.

The same goes for our hearts’ ability to care. Our hearts can ache and bleed for sweet Cannon, just as our hearts can ache and bleed and demand justice for the sweet, innocent lives of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others. You heard that extra part, right? The demand justice part? That’s why there are hashtags, marches, and movements. Because while Cannon’s killer is behind bars, and was put there immediately, justice hasn’t been swift, or delivered at all for the others.

You can ache and cry for Cannon. You can send prayers and love for his mama. His poor mama. I know I sure have. And you can also ache and cry for the mothers and fathers and siblings of Tamir, Trayvon, Elijah, Ahmaud, and Breonna. And you can take to the streets to demand that their lives matter enough to receive the same swift justice as little Cannon.

Our hearts can feel all these things. Our hearts should. What our hearts shouldn’t do is use one child’s death to diminish another’s. I guess I want to ask why. Why are some compelled to, instead of honoring and lifting up Cannon’s family, use his death to diminish the death of others, and diminish a necessary movement?

Our hearts can mourn for all the innocent lives lost. Our hearts can love them all. And our minds can sure recognize that when there is no justice, there should be a movement.

*My little Anna on our way to a drive-through BLM protest. She's 5, and she gets it.

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