Thousands Across US Demand Reproductive Freedom on Roe’s 50th Anniversary

“The overwhelming majority of Americans in all states support abortion rights—and women will fight to protect our rights and our lives,” said the executive director of Women’s March.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 1-22-2023 by Common Dreams

People rally for abortion rights at the Wisconsin state capitol in Madison on January 22, 2023. (Photo: Hedi Rudd, Paisley Koch/Women’s March via Twitter)

Thousands of people called for reproductive freedom at rallies around the United States on Sunday—the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion a constitutional right until the Supreme Court’s reactionary majority overturned it last summer.

At more than 200 events in 46 states, demonstrators condemned the court’s 6-3 opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which enables states to curtail or even prohibit access to reproductive healthcare. Since the ruling was handed down on June 24, Republican lawmakers have enacted deadly abortion restrictions in 26 states, including near-total bans in several.

“Fifty years after the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a radical right-wing movement hijacked our courts and eliminated federal protections for abortions,” said Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of Women’s March, which organized Sunday’s “Bigger Than Roe” day of action.

“But as the fight turns to the states, they are going to learn that the overwhelming majority of Americans in all states support abortion rights—and women will fight to protect our rights and our lives,” she added.

Carmona spoke at the Wisconsin state capitol. Women’s March picked Madison rather than Washington, D.C. as the location of this year’s national protest because the group wanted to send “a clear message to elected leaders and to our base—we are going to where the fight is, and that is at the state level.”

“We’ll start in Wisconsin, where an upcoming Supreme Court election this spring will determine the balance of power on the state’s Supreme Court and the future of abortion rights in Wisconsin,” the group explained.

Due to legal uncertainty around the status of Wisconsin’s pre-Roe abortion ban, enacted in 1849, providers have been forced to stop offering abortion care in the state.

Women’s March—with the support of nearly 50 organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Working Families Power, and the National Organization for Women—orchestrated “sister marches” in cities across the country.

“We are taking the fight to the states,” organizers said. “From Wisconsin, to Nebraska, to Georgia, to Arizona and Texas, women and our allies are defending abortion rights where they still stand, and working to put measures on the ballot to regain abortion rights in places where politicians are putting their agendas over the will of the people.”

This work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

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