Women are STILL marching for their rights

Photo by Remi Frederick | The Women’s March in Tacoma featured hundreds of people marching together towards the Pierce County Superior Court.

Hundreds of thousands of women around the nation marched on Oct. 2 in over 650 protests over the Texas abortion ban.

On Oct. 2, 120,000 people all across the nation, according to the Women’s March, protested the abortion ban in Texas. The march was called “Rally for abortion justice” and featured signs with sayings such as “Never Backing Down” and “All Rise for Justice”.

I attended the Tacoma, WA march that was started by Ondriea Hofeling with help from a Planned Parenthood organizer. Hundreds of people were at this march to express their belief in abortion as a form of healthcare. 

Hofeling started the march because there wasn’t going to be a protest close to her. She said that with this march she wanted to spread awareness and added, “Texas doesn’t get to keep being a bully.” 

On Oct. 6, a federal judge ruled in favor of halting the infamous Texas law which, in short, bans all abortions before six weeks of pregnancy, that sentiment was felt around the country. 

The ruling comes as a huge relief for all of us who marched for the women of Texas and I’d imagine that it also takes a weight off the shoulders of Texas women who were struggling to find a place to have an abortion. Even for me, and even though my right to have an abortion is protected, I was terrified for all the women who are not protected by their state laws.

This relief was short-lived as the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the decision from the federal judge which means that the Texas abortion ban is allowed to continue operating, at least until a higher court rules differently. 

Some protesters have been marching for this cause for a long time. One, in particular, Jenifer Scitern has been marching since 1970 and said that she was marching because she believes in the “women’s right to autonomy of her body”. 

Her companions agreed. One of them, Nanette Chavel, said: “I’m really pissed off. I seldom go to marches but I’m just really pissed off”. 

When RSVPing to the march, we got an email detailing what to bring and what not to bring. On the what not to bring list was “No coat hanger imagery…. No Handmaid’s Tale imagery”. However, several people still wore the Handmaid’s dresses and head coverings.

I asked Shannon Spencer why she decided to wear the Handmaid’s outfit. She said, “I disagree with a Women’s March telling us how to dress.” While I concur with the statement in general, the reasons that the Women’s March gave for discouraging the outfits are something that I strongly agree with.

The Women’s March said that the Handmaid’s outfits were not recommended because the Handmaid’s Tale is mainly focused on the lack of bodily autonomy of white women while it “erases the fact that Black women, undocumented women, incarcerated women, poor women, disabled women have always had their reproduction controlled in this country it’s not some dystopic future or past,” according to the email that was sent out by the Women’s March when you signed up.

Two of the protestors, Jenny and Jessica Campbell, pointed out that in the Texas abortion ban, nowhere in the bill was there any blame on the father for getting a woman pregnant. They are right, where is the accountability? Getting pregnant takes two people and if the pregnant person cannot get an abortion due to this ban, does six weeks mark the start of child support for the non-pregnant person? 

I am proud to have marched for what I believe in. As RBG once said, “Fight for the things you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” and so, I hope you join me in this fight.

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