My Religious Community has Treated me with Dignity: Raquel’s Story

Photo Credit: Alzbeta Voboril

Adapted from a blog post by Raquel Kato. Photo Credit:  Alzbeta Volk

My religious community has treated me with dignity as mother, student, employee, and woman.

As a woman who constantly has to hear this “war on women” nonsense about how the only way “us women” will be truly equal and liberated is to get free birth control and abortions, I think I need to say something.

I am a woman, and I am speaking for myself…this is my story.

When I was 21 and still in college, I had an unplanned pregnancy.  Complete horror, fear, and shame took over my life.  If you are young and single and pregnant…guess what you should do? Get an abortion.


Because if you have a child before you are completely stable in your life, educated, and with a solid career, how could you ever dream of living a successful, satisfying life?  Women who have children young cannot pursue their dreams and cannot be equal to men because the child takes that right away.

At least that’s what I thought.  And quite frankly, that’s what society tells us women.  In order for a woman to have equal opportunities as men, they need to eliminate the potential for children.

Lucky for me, by the grace, and mercy of God, I chose life for my beautiful little girl. This choice was by far the most redeeming, healing, and empowering decision I have ever made.  And I want to make it clear that my daughter in NO WAY ever took anything away from my dreams, in fact, she made them real. Even though the real war on women was against me, I am proud to say that I have a gorgeous 1 year old, I work my dream job, and I am currently in graduate school earning my Master’s.

How did I do this?

My religious community has made this possible.  The moment I turned to them, they embraced me.  Not once did they make me choose between pursuing my education and parenting my daughter.  They treated me as a WHOLE person with respect and dignity and encouraged me to follow my dreams.

It is through my religious community that I have been given free childcare.

It is through my religious community that I have been treated with equality and dignity, and it is through my religious community that I have been encouraged in ALL aspects of my life as mother, student, employee, and woman.

If religious freedom is attacked, and the real war on women is not addressed…there is no hope for women to be supported and respected for all that they are in this society.

It is time for women to speak for themselves.

Check out for ways you can participate.


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