On October 2nd, the National Women’s March was held, specifically for reproductive rights. While we know that reproductive rights aren’t just for cisgender women, using the women’s march as a call to action for all people who require and benefit from reproductive rights was a smart move, especially for those of us who live in conservative areas.
I live near Myrtle Beach, SC, where my local march took place. We were met with resistance by anti-choice protestors, who remained on the border of our protest behind the fence of the park. Some people chose to engage with them while others thought it was best not to. I decided to stand in front of them to block their signs and bodies from view, as their message was not welcome in our space.
The women’s march originated as a response to Trump’s presidency. The first march happening in Washington D. C. on inauguration day; January 21st, 2017. Millions of people marched, but D. C. alone held almost half a million people.
With the Supreme Court reconvening this week, I think it’s important to remember to defend our rights to reproductive healthcare. Not only do we deserve the right to have an abortion, but we deserve for them to be affordable and accessible. Under capitalism, abortion becomes necessary, but because of capitalism, they are hard to obtain for many working-class people.
People of all genders have the right to terminate their pregnancies. For any reason. Or for no reason at all. Gender-neutral or gender-diverse language is imperative to our success in securing safe abortions for all people. Many gender-diverse people face discrimination within our healthcare system, even under the guise of abortion activism.
Making abortion illegal will not stop abortions, it will only end safe ones.
What can you do about it? Protest, march, vote, support places and people in need of monetary support to remain open to provide safe abortions, donate directly to individuals seeking abortion funds, etc.
At my local march, there were a multitude of speakers with different perspectives and stories, but we all came together under a uniting force and cause. “On Being the Whole Sky” is a poem I wrote specifically to read at the reproductive rights rally, which can be found below.
On Being the Whole Sky
There are hungry snakes storming Capitol halls,
whose scales shine gold, whose skin sheds flaky dandruff,
slithering into shattered fluorescent light.
We feel the thunder of that storm here.
Sometimes, violence violates your right to scream.
Sometimes, it looks like someone who could be your father.
Sometimes, it is. Sometimes, violence is worshipped
as a holy patriotic act.
There are rattlesnakes in Texas,
whose venom liquor lures herds like candy.
You cannot eat with them and eat with me, too.
You cannot rest in two states at once.
Stalking bodily autonomy like pious flagellation
is violence. I have no more poetry.
Why be a snake when you can be an eagle?
Why be an eagle when you can be the whole sky?