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On October 2nd, pro-choice advocates across the country gathered to protest a new restrictive abortion law in Texas. This law –– titled S.B.8 –– restricts access to abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, long before many women even know they are carrying. Furthermore, this law enables private citizens to sue those who aid a woman in receiving an illegal abortion. 

As a big reproductive rights advocate, I feel so fortunate to have gone to the New York protest to fight against what I consider to be an egregious infringement on personal rights. That Saturday, several hundred activists including myself gathered outside New York City Hall to hear from incredible speakers including local leaders of Planned Parenthood, pro-choice candidates for mayor, and brave women sharing their personal experiences with abortion. The energy was electric: I saw young girls hoisted atop shoulders taking in their first protest, old women toting signs that read “I can’t believe I still have to fight for this $H*T!”, and Gen-Z advocates chanting at the top of their lungs. 

As I stood and listened to these brilliant women, I became overwhelmed with emotion. I remember coming to City Hall with my mom in 2016, donning neon pink “pussy hats”, to stand with the #MeToo movement. I remember being here with my highschool in 2019 to fight against climate change. Most recently, I remember taking the subway up here in 2020 (my first ride since the pandemic) to kneel in silence for police brutality victims. And here I was, in this place with so many powerful protest memories, fighting for what I consider to be the most essential of rights. I became so deeply and viscerally angry. Why do we still have to fight for the right to govern our own bodies? Why is abortion restriction a debate, let alone a law? Why must I continue to return to this location to advocate for the most basic and natural human rights?

I was dually overcome, though, with an immense love for my New York City community. Looking around, I saw people from all walks of life passionately advocating for reproductive justice. As we marched through the streets, restaurant customers stood up from their seats and cheered, apartment dwellers waved to us from 10 stories above, and friendly trucks honked in encouragement. I am so grateful to live in a city where reproductive rights are protected, respected, and ardently defended. This appreciation made me want to double my efforts in helping women in Texas feel that same support and camaraderie. 

To quote one of the speakers, “To the women in Texas, WE GOT YOU. All the way from New York City, we are fighting for you and we love you.” 

I am so glad that I got to be a part of an undoubtedly impactful event in the history of reproductive rights. If you, reader, would like to be a part of this fight as well, here are some organizations that would greatly appreciate and benefit from your donation: Texas Abortion Funds, Texas Equal Access Fund, and Whole Woman’s Health.

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Lily Crowell

Columbia Barnard '25

Lily Crowell is a first-year at Barnard College. She intends on majoring in American Studies and Human Rights. Outside of class, Lily loves dancing, reading, and trying new restaurants. Follow me on Instagram @Lilycrowell
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