texas abortion law
On September 1, 2021, Texas passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in United States history. The law bans abortion after six weeks, which is well before many women even know they are pregnant, and with no exceptions for rape, incest, or health issues. Globally, studies have shown that strict bans like this one lead to more dangerous abortion practices and increased rates of maternal mortality. Ultimately, this ban will do much more harm than good.
Furthermore, part of the Texas law stated that individual citizens can help enforce the ban. This means that citizens could sue abortion physicians or patients, and they could be awarded $10,000 for doing so. At the beginning of September, there was even a whistleblower website where individuals could report physicians or patients anonymously.
Needless to say, the majority of the country was not happy to hear about this. So they decided to march.
The 2017 women’s march took place in all 50 states and around the world after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. It’s estimated that 1-1.6% of the United States population attended a march, with over 400,000 people attending the Washington D.C. march alone. There were many politicians and celebrities in attendance nationwide, including Bernie Sanders, Rihanna, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Ariana Grande.
Women’s marches continued to take place from 2018-2020, with no march in January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with widespread vaccinations and masks, marchers were ready to take to the streets again in the fall.
On October 2, my roommate and I woke up bright and early to catch the bus to downtown Denver. Once we got to Union Station, we made our way to the Colorado State Capitol building. There were already hundreds of people there, holding brightly colored signs and cheering for the speakers, including Vicki Cowart, Kassandra Rendon-Morales, and Amanda Carlson, prominent figures from Planned Parenthood and other reproductive rights organizations.
The speakers touched on important issues about the Texas abortion ban and the harm it has already caused people who need an abortion. Some shared their own experiences, and others talked about their own projects and what they’re doing to support women in Texas.
Despite this event being called a “march,” an actual march didn’t take place. Instead, supporters filled the steps of the Capitol building and the sidewalk below to show off their signs. A few women from different organizations gave more speeches to the crowd. Plenty of cars drove past the building and honked their support – my personal favorite part was seeing two fire engines cheer us on as they drove past.
Thousands of people attended the march in Washington D.C., with over 600 marches taking place in cities around the country at the same time. October 2nd was a critical date to hold these marches, because the Supreme Court is scheduled to reconvene on Monday to address the Texas ban. With a 6-3 conservative majority, many people are concerned that Roe v. Wade (the case that legalized abortion in 1973) is in jeopardy, as the court plans on addressing abortion cases soon. Hopefully, these marches showed politicians that we are prepared to fight for our reproductive rights.
I would say that my first women’s march was a success! I felt so empowered to be surrounded by other women and allies who were fighting for reproductive rights and look forward to participating in more events in the future.