As access to safe and affordable abortions comes under threat once again, the Women's March collaborated with numerous organizations to hold mass protests across the United States.
The Women's March, a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues, took the country by storm on October 2. In collaboration with several women's rights organizations, the movement held a rally in support of reproductive rights. Numerous sister marches were also scheduled across the United States. The demonstrations come at a time when people's access to reproductive justice, including the right to an abortion, has been threatened by anti-abortion laws and activists in the country. Most recently, the US Supreme Court approved an anti-abortion law in Texas that would place a "bounty" on those who provide abortions in addition to banning the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy.
The Women's March worked in collaboration with organizations such as the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood, SHERO Mississippi, Mississippi in Action, Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, The Frontline, Working Families Party, SisterSong to hold protests in various states last Saturday. The date marked two days before the Supreme Court reconvenes for its yearly term. The movement posted on Twitter earlier this month, "We don’t say this lightly: we’re at grave risk of losing our reproductive freedoms. All of us need to fight back. That’s why on October 2, we’re marching in every state. Pledge to march with us and over 90 organizations to defend abortion."
Although the anti-abortion law recently passed in Texas is perhaps the most repressive, similar legislation has either been proposed or passed in states such as Florida, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, and more. The march occurred in various locations across the country, with those interested in participating signing a virtual pledge to take part on the official Women's March website, here. The website reads, "Abortion has never been fully accessible, but we are at the risk of losing our reproductive freedom completely. The call to action is clear and urgent. The relentless attacks from Texas to Mississippi are ramping up quickly."
In the past, the movement has been criticized for its lack of intersectionality; the Women's March appeared to be synonymous with cis, heterosexual White women. Therefore, the official announcement of the national Women's March demonstration acknowledges that those most affected by a lack of access to safe and affordable abortions come from marginalized backgrounds. "Anti-choice extremists have a deep desire to return to a time when there was more clear and effective domination and control over queer and trans folks, women, and people of color; they want to revive those old values and societal norms to the point of re-acceptance," the statement notes. "The authoritarian agenda of reproductive control is fueled by misogyny and racism—and we must challenge it, together."
It is unclear if the mass protest will lead to tangible change. Nonetheless, the Women's March planned to "send the Supreme Court and lawmakers across the country a clear, unified message." Meanwhile, pro-choice activists have filed lawsuits against the regressive anti-abortion law passed in Texas. They worry the new law will lead to higher maternal mortality rates.