'We will not go quietly': Women's March organizes over 500 marches nationwide for reproductive rights
A month after a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect, Women's March protesters will gather in support of reproductive rights on Saturday at more than 650 marches in all 50 states and Washington.
Women's March executive director Rachel O'Leary Carmona said that while abortions have never been fully accessible, a Mississippi challenge to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, Texas' abortion legislation, and the possibility of other states following the Lone Star State with similar laws, represent an "unprecedented attack" on reproductive freedoms.
"For a long time, groups of us were ringing the alarm bell around abortion access and many of us were told we were hysterical and Roe v. Wade will never be overturned," Carmona said. "But now it's clear that our fears were both rational and proportional. We are at a break-glass moment for America, and now's the time for mass mobilization and federal action."
The marches are being planned ahead of the Supreme Court reconvening Oct. 4.
"We don’t say this lightly," the Women's March said in a tweet announcing the marches. "We’re at grave risk of losing our reproductive freedoms. All of us need to fight back."
'Women rising,' but numbers falling: 2020 March tries to reenergize amid flagging enthusiasm
'Shadow Docket': Senate battles over Supreme Court 'shadow docket' in the wake of Texas abortion law
The Supreme Court in September declined to block Texas' abortion law – a move the Women's March said "effectively took the next step towards overturning Roe v. Wade," according to its website.
"Simply put: We are witnessing the most dire threat to abortion access in our lifetime."
The Women's March is partnering with more than 90 other organizations, including Planned Parenthood, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice and the Working Families Party amid what they've called "relentless attacks."
"This isn't just the Women's March but rather a coalition effort," Carmona said.
She added: "This is not just a women's issue. It's a racial justice issue. It's an immigration issue. It's across the board because abortion is healthcare and a fundamental right."
Inside clinics: Abortion clinics outside Texas see surge in patients since ban
New legislation: House passes legislation protecting the right to an abortion
It's important for the marches to include women of color in the organizing process, Carmona said. The mobilizing and organizing committee behind the event is composed of women of color, she said.
Organizers are calling for people to pledge to march ahead of Oct. 2 by visiting the event page.
Masks and social distancing will be required at the marches, according to the event page. Organizers will also provide hand sanitizer stations and urge anyone who feels sick to attend a virtual event instead of an in-person one.
Virtual events are also a way to include immunocompromised people and others who might not be able to attend an in-person march, Carmona said. She encouraged people to donate to abortion funds and contact their representatives to voice support for abortion access.
The inaugural Women's March in 2017 launched to protest then-President Donald Trump's election. Last fall, a march paid tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and to protest now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
"This is a moment to consolidate our movements and to demonstrate to policymakers and to the Supreme Court that we will not go quietly, that this is going to be a fight," she said.
Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Women's March organizes nationwide marches for reproductive rights