Tens of thousands of angry, defiant women and their supporters took to the streets in at least 380 U.S. cities and towns on Saturday, May 14, demanding that legal abortion remain the law of the land. Chants and signs insisted: “We won’t go back,” “Abortion is a human right,” and “Bans off my body.” Inspired by recent gains women and their supporters have made in decriminalizing abortion in Latin America — Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico — protesters in some cities wore green to identify with the Marea Verde (Green Wave) movement for women’s rights in those countries. The May 14 actions were large and spirited, but fell short of the truly massive actions that would reflect the broad majority support that still exists for a woman’s right to choose abortion. As a recent World-Outlook editorial argued, mobilizing such a response will require a change in course for the fight to defend and extend women’s rights. “A new strategy and a new leadership are necessary,” it said. “The balance sheet on the strategy of organizations that are tied to the Democratic Party machine is in: It has failed.”
The leak of the draft Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade confirms what has been clear since September 2021 when the court refused to enjoin Texas law SB8. That measure largely made abortion illegal in the second largest state of the union. The court majority now plans to scrap the 1973 Roe decision and open the door to making most if not all abortions illegal in many other states. This is the most serious attack on women’s rights and all democratic rights in decades. The Republican Party has championed the assault. But the Democratic Party has been complicit in eroding women’s right to choose abortion virtually since the moment Roe became law.
CHICAGO, March 8, 2022—“Now is the time to get back out into the streets and stay in the streets,” said Linda Loew, a leader of Chicago for Abortion Rights, at the kick-off rally on March 5 to honor International Women’s Day and demand that the Supreme Court uphold Roe v. Wade. Chicago for Abortion Rights initiated the march and rally that was co-hosted by thirteen other organizations. What all supporters of the right to choose abortion need to do now is to organize in the coming months to defend Roe and oppose these attacks. We need to mobilize our power in the streets. We are at a critical juncture. The response to this attack on women’s rights has so far been inadequate. Right-wing forces emboldened by the government are moving full steam ahead to roll back the basic right of women to control their own bodies. These moves must be met by action that mobilizes the majority sentiment that continues to support a woman’s right to choose abortion.
CHICAGO— “I absolutely think we should not stop defending Roe v. Wade. We need to insure that the right to a safe legal abortion is codified in federal law. We need massive legal demonstrations,” said Barbara Roberts at an online panel discussion held January 24. The event posed the need for a national mobilization to help women’s right to choose.
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.
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.
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.
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.
World-Outlook needs your help to report on the October 2 demonstrations scheduled for this Saturday to defend women’s right to choose abortion. We know many of our readers plan to join these actions. We welcome both photos and brief reports on the protests you attend.
CHICAGO, September 25, 2021—At an unprecedented and critical juncture in the fight for women’s right to choose safe, legal abortion, Women’s March has called for rallies in every state on October 2. This call for coordinated national demonstrations should be championed by every defender of women’s rights.
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.
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.
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.