Old Cutler Republican Women’s Club President Debbie Zimmerman shows attendees of the May 21 meeting a map of Miami-Dade County and the places where Republicans can volunteer.(Luciana Izquierdo/SFMN)
Republicans in South Miami shared an evening at the Old Cutler Republican Women’s Club to talk about prison reform and their opposition to socialism, and to comment on recent anti-abortion laws.
The May 21 event was filled with different keynote speakers giving their fervent opinions on topics that resonated with them.
Sandy Oltz, vice president of the club, motivated the audience to watch “Unplanned,” a movie about a woman’s transformation from pro-choice to pro-life.
“Alice Paul, the abolitionist, called abortion the ultimate exploitation of women,” Oltz said.“You make yourself available for sex, the guy walks away and no child support. Women are crazy, why would you kill your child for a career, for a relationship? You think that guy is going to like you after you killed your baby?”
At the event, Barry Smith, the director of Prison Ministry Development shared how he helps prisoners learn vocational skills that could help them in life and talked about his dedication to helping them achieve a second chances.
“None of our students that have gone through our program have been rearrested, that is something that I’m very proud of,” said Smith “I’m really excited that the Republican party right now is taking the lead in justice reform and providing second chances for people so they don’t have to continue a life of crime.”
Another keynote speaker of the club was Irina Vilariño, a candidate for the 26th Congressional District. She urged people to teach the younger generation about the struggles individuals dealt with under a socialist regime.
“My parents came to the United States from Cuba to escape communism. My dad was a political prisoner. Under socialism there is only an equal opportunity to achieve poverty, and I want to remind liberals that in freedom, every person has an opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” said Vilariño.
Daniel Sotelo, who lost his attempt to become a member of the Florida House of Representatives from District 19 last year, was in attendance at the gathering and gave his opinion on the recent increase in anti-abortion legislation.
“I’m pro-life, so for me, it doesn’t affect me. I understand where they’re coming from. However, I feel that abortion right now is mostly being used as a contraception method,” said Sotelo.
Monica Betts, who was also in attendance at the gathering, talked about her one regret in life.
“I had an abortion. I’ve never said this. I was young, and I regret it,” said Betts. “My father was a pastor of a church and he taught me to believe in forgiveness, because when you’re young, you’re not thinking. So when I did that, I went into depression.”
Betts said that it took her many years to come to terms and forgive herself for getting an abortion and that it still bothers her at times. That’s why she has strong beliefs about the new anti-abortion laws that have been passed in other states.
“I’m with Alabama. I’m pro-life all the way, not partial,” said Betts “I know people that have being raped and they had their child. I mean, hurt the person but not their child.”