Category: Women’s Rights

Keep Abortion Legal, Say Protesters, As Supreme Court Weighs Overturning Roe

CHICAGO, December 5, 2021—Hundreds of people protested in Washington, D.C.; Jackson, Mississippi; and here in Chicago on December 1 to defend a woman’s right to choose abortion. The actions, modest in size, took place as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This case involves a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In addition to upholding the ban, the state of Mississippi has asked the court to use the case to overturn Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 Supreme Court decision that decriminalized abortion. The content and tenor of the questions and arguments by most of the justices during the December 1 hearing indicated the Supreme Court will likely uphold the Mississippi ban when it announces its decision, which is expected in the first half of next year. As most of the media has reported, the question is how far the court’s conservative majority will go into restricting a woman’s right to choose—up to overturning Roe and allowing states to issue their own restrictions or ban abortion entirely. An earlier indication of what is to come was the court’s September 1 refusal to block an even more draconian law, which bans abortions in Texas at six weeks of pregnancy, while legal challenges against it unfold.

All Out Dec. 1 For Women’s Right to Choose Abortion!

Supporters of a woman’s right to choose abortion are mobilizing on December 1, 2021, in Washington, D.C., Jackson, Mississippi, and Chicago. That day the U..S. Supreme Court is scheduled to begin oral arguments on Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case challenging a 2018 Mississippi statute banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Proponents of the law have asked the Supreme Court to use the case not only to uphold the Mississippi ban but to directly overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. This article provides information about the December 1 actions. It also encourages everyone to spread the word and join one of these protests.

‘We Won’t Go Back!’: More than 100,000 March to Defend Women’s Right to Choose Abortion

October 7, 2021—“Bans Off Our Bodies,” and “Our Bodies, Our Lives,” echoed through the streets of the United States on October 2 as thousands upon thousands rallied and marched in defense of a woman’s right to choose abortion and against all restrictions on this right. From large cities to small towns, from east to west, north to south, more than 100,000 demonstrators in 650 different places joined in. This surpasses the number of cities where people marched in August 1970 in the Women’s Strike for Equality. On that day, 50,000 marched in New York City along with 90 other actions. In 1992, more than half a million demonstrated in Washington, D.C., in the March for Women’s Lives, and nearly one million turned out at the nation’s capital for a similar march in 2004. October 2, 2021, was the largest single outpouring nationwide for a woman’s right to choose since 2004.

Tens of Thousands March, Rally for Women’s Right to Choose Abortion – Photo Gallery

October 3, 2021—Tens of thousands turned out on October 2 in more than 600 cities and towns across the United States to defend a woman’s right to choose abortion. Protesters were in their large majority women. Many students and other youth, as well as people of all generations, participated in the actions. The protests were a good start in what is expected to be a long fight to defend women’s reproductive rights. This is an initial photo gallery of a number of these actions.

Defend a Woman’s Right to Choose Abortion!

A national campaign of mass action to defend a woman’s right to choose abortion is now necessary. This has been true for some time. But the September 1 U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 decision that refused to block a Texas law prohibiting abortion after cardiac activity is detected—which can be as early as six weeks after the onset of pregnancy—underlined the urgency of the moment. Many women are not even aware they are pregnant at that time.

Chicago Abortion Rights Activists Outraged by SCOTUS’ Refusal to Enjoin Unconstitutional Texas Abortion Ban

Describing it as a blow to women and all abortion rights supporters nationwide, coalition calls for reversal of the Texas Law SB8, and demands “No Abortion Bans Anywhere: Not Now; Not Ever! Defend Roe!”
Several Chicago groups that have recently begun mobilizing to defend abortion rights are outraged by the extreme Texas abortion ban that just went into effect, banning abortions after the 6th week, when most women do not even know they are pregnant. Approximately 85% of abortions performed in Texas take place after 6 weeks.

Abortion Rights Fight Escalates as Mississippi Case Heads to Supreme Court

CHICAGO, August 8, 2021—Abortion rights activists here and across the nation are headed to a showdown with anti-abortion forces because of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear arguments in the Mississippi case “Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.” On the high court’s docket since May 17, oral arguments could take place as soon as this fall.

A Woman’s Right to Choose Abortion Under Attack: Defend Roe v. Wade!

CHICAGO, June 17, 2021—“We have spent our whole lives working towards our futures, and without our input and without our consent, our control over our futures has been stripped away from us. I hope you can feel how gut-wrenching it is. I hope you can feel how dehumanizing it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you.” These words spoken by Paxton Smith at her May 30 high school graduation in Dallas, Texas clearly express the sentiments of large numbers of people in this country, especially youth. They reflect the problems the ruling rich and their government face as they try to push back women’s right to choose abortion and deny us access to safe and legal procedures.

Women’s Strike for Equality: Ruthann Miller’s 1970 Speech

These are major excerpts from Ruthann Miller’s speech at the Aug. 26, 1970, Women’s Strike for Equality march and rally in New York City. Miller, 22 years old at the time, chaired the rally and was coordinator of the NY Aug. 26 Strike Committee, which organized the demonstration.
The 50,000-strong action was the largest of the Women’s Strike for Equality protests that took place across the United States that day. They marked a qualitative new stage in the women’s liberation struggle.

How Strike for Equality Propelled Women’s Liberation Struggle in the U.S.

In August 1970, campaigners for women’s liberation mounted an extraordinary demonstration in New York, the largest of similar actions across the United States, which propelled the struggle for women’s equality to a new stage. Ruthann Miller, the protest coordinator in New York, was also a young socialist activist. The interview below, conducted by Nancy Rosenstock, first appeared in the Nov. 1, 2020, issue of Jacobin. is re-publishing it here by permission in celebration of Women’s History Month.