Rally for reproductive rights takes the street on International Women's Day

On March 8, Los Angeles residents gathered in support for women's bodily autonomy.

By Ava Rosate, Photo Editor

Supporters of the Rise up 4 Abortion Rights movement waved home made signs during the rally. (Photo by Ava Rosate/The Valley Star)

Armed with handmade signs, green bandanas and clothes hangers, over 100 reproductive rights supporters took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles on the 47th annual International Women’s Day.

A lively crowd gathered to the side of a parked truck across the street from City Hall around 2 p.m., displaying a banner stating, “We Refuse To Let The Supreme Court Deny Women’s Humanity And Their Rights,” Throughout the Tuesday afternoon, the truck acted as a stage for speakers and performances. A music performance and guest speakers kicked off the event while counter-protestors heckled the group from the sidelines, shouting through a megaphone “abortions kill more minorities than guns.”

Abortion On Demand And Without Apology, the march hosted on March 8 by activist groups Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights and The Revolutionary Communists, was organized just weeks before to protest and inform community members of the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court decision, ruled in 1973, states that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s ability to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The landmark ruling is in danger of being overturned by the end of June due to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — a new case that has been presented to the court, which could overrule Roe v. Wade.

Supporters of the Rise up 4 Abortion Rights movement waved home made signs during the rally. (Photo by Ava Rosate/The Valley Star)

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which was argued on Dec. 1 of last year, states that Roe v. Wade haunts the country and holds no basis in the constitution. The case between the state’s health director and the last remaining abortion clinic concerns the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. The fate of the case will be determined this summer.

“It’s great to see those who have come out and the diversity is beautiful,” said Noche Diaz, spokesperson of the Revolution Club. “It’s great to see everyone come together, it is very important and inspiring. Most people have no idea what will come in the Supreme Court and the people who do know are being told to accept it.”

The Revolution Club is a communist activist group in LA whose mission is to “fight the power and transform the people for revolution.” They co-hosted the event with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, a reproductive rights activist group.

The crowd marched their way through a mile long stretch using Broadway Street as its main route, holding signs and photos of women who have died due to unsafe abortions. Activists chanted, “Abortion on demand and without apology, without this basic right women cant be free” and, “Back alleys no more, abortion rights for rich and poor.”

(L-R) Skyler Soloman of Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights and Luna of The Revolution Club lead the rally in a cargo truck. The pair lead chants and called on people who were walking on the sidewalks to join the rally.(Photo by Ava Rosate/The Valley Star)

Supporters were asked to show solidarity with the movement by wearing and waving green scarves passed out by volunteers. The color green is a symbol of the fight to protect abortion rights. It began in Argentina when more than a million activists took to the streets with green scarves in support of a legislation that would decriminalize abortion. The movement became known as the Marea Verde — the green wave — and made its way throughout Latin America. Now the United States is taking part in the movement, with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights marches in California and New York.

Making its way to Pershing Square by dusk, the peaceful protest ended with event coordinators asking the crowd to organize and exchange contact information so future events could be organized within communities.

“This is the approach that works” said Skyler Soloman, leader of Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights. “Organizing communities and taking to the streets works.”