Hundreds of people across the United States are marching today in support of reproductive rights as the most restrictive anti-abortion bill yet went into effect in Texas last month. Abortion rights activists are gathering at more than 600 marches across the US, holding placards and banners that read, “My mind, my body, my choice” and “Legal abortion for health and life,” as they demand reproductive freedoms. Demonstrators filled the streets surrounding the court, shouting “My body, my choice” and cheering loudly to the beat of drums.
Before heading out on the march, they rallied in a square near the White House, waving signs that said “Mind your own uterus,” “I love someone who had an abortion” and “Abortion is a personal choice, not a legal debate,” among other messages. Some wore T-shirts reading simply “1973,” a reference to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal for generations of American women.
No matter where you live, no matter where you are, this moment is dark,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, told the crowd at the “Rally for Abortion Justice” in Washington DC. “This moment is dark, but that is why we are here.” She spoke of women who have been forced to drive for many hours across state lines – sometimes multiple state lines – to end pregnances since the Texas law went into effect. The law relies on ordinary citizens to enforce the ban, which makes no exceptions for rape or incest, rewarding them at least $10,000 if they successfully sue anyone who helped provide an illegal abortion.
What’s happening to abortion rights in the US?
On Wednesday, a law went into effect in Texas prohibiting women from getting an abortion after six weeks — a time when many women do not still know they are pregnant.After six weeks, women can try to either go outside Texas to have an abortion, get an illegal abortion in Texas, or have an unwanted pregnancy. The law relies on ordinary citizens to enforce the ban. It makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
Some of the demonstrators said the law would backfire on legislators. “I think more people believe in the issue of providing safe abortions than our legislature realizes,” said Andrea Roberts, 49, an Austin preschool director. “Abort Abbott” appeared on several of the demonstrators’ signs and T-shirts, while others sported the Texas state slogan, “Come and Take It” next to a drawing of a uterus. “It’s cruel and it’s sure as hell not Christian,” Kenya Martin, of the nonprofit Abortion Care Network told several thousand Washington protesters.
Under sunny skies, the demonstrators carried signs that said, “Bans off my body,” “Think outside my box” and “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries.” The day before the march, US President Joe Biden’s administration urged a federal judge to block the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which has banned most abortions in Texas since early September. It is one of a series of cases that will give the nation’s divided high court occasion to uphold or overrule Roe vs Wade. Protesters gathered in support of reproductive rights Saturday at hundreds of Women’s March protests nationwide. The marches came a month after a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy took effect.