Abortion rights rally turns to march in East Hollywood

The rally hosted by the Party for Socialism and Liberation the day before Mother’s Day ended with a march to the Beverly and Vermont metro station.

By Isaac Dektor, Managing Editor

Protesters in support of women and abortion rights march down N Vermont Avenue during a protest held by the Party of Socialism and Liberation on Saturday of May 7, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. (Griffin O'Rourke | The Valley Star)

Amid the bustle of East Hollywood just blocks away from Los Angeles City College, organizers kicked off a rally for abortion rights with impassioned speeches before marching one mile with an escort of over a dozen police cars.

Roughly 100 protestors gathered at the Vermont/Santa Monica metro stop in objection to last week’s leaked Supreme Court opinion that put Roe v. Wade in jeopardy. After starting late, organizer for The Party of Socialism and Liberation Sheila Xiao opened with a series of call-and-response chants through loudspeakers rigged to a wheelchair. Calls for abortion rights, ending the patriarchy and abolishing the Supreme Court dominated the chants that were heard across the street by hundreds of people lined up outside the Vermont concert venue.

Another organizer, Sabina Wildman, spoke next while car passengers yelled and honked in support as they drove by.

“Roe v. Wade is on the chopping block and not only that but all the rights we’ve gotten since the constitution,” said Wildman. “This is all people, poor people, working class people — this is our struggle.”

Speakers highlighted the story of Lazelle Herrera, a 26-year-old Texas woman who was arrested under murder charges related to an alleged self-induced abortion. The Starr County prosecutor assigned to the case has since dropped the charges. Also in the crosshairs were the 24 states with anti-abortion laws that will codify automatically if the Supreme Court precedent is overturned, as well as Texas’ SB 8, which bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy — a timeline advocates argue is too short as women often do not discover they are pregnant until after six weeks.

Journalist Abby Martin made an appearance and used the microphone to condemn the Democratic Party for failing to codify Roe v. Wade.

“For as long as I can remember, the Democratic Party has used the Supreme Court to hold a gun to the left wing,” said Martin. “Every election comes down to a woman’s right to choose. They wanted to weaponize women’s bodies for fundraising.”

Break the Chains Magazine Promotion Director and Party for Socialism and Liberation organizer Sheila Xiao leads a march down Vermont Ave. (Luis Flores/ The Valley Star)

Early this year, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris asserted their belief that Roe v. Wade should be codified in a joint statement that pledged to defend abortion rights throughout the country.

Lillian House, also of The Party for Socialism and Liberation, characterized the leaked opinion as a declaration of war against women’s bodily autonomy.

“We know that these bans are already impacting poor women, especially in the south, the most,” said House after the march reached the Vermont/Beverly metro station. “When women have to cross state lines to access an abortion, they have to pay, they have to take off work, they have to get childcare, they have to have transportation. These are things that really impact and make things difficult for poor working-class women.”

While the Supreme Court draft does not officially overturn Roe. v. Wade, the leaked opinion has galvanized abortion advocates across the country.

— With contributions from Griffin O’Rourke

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