People For the American Way

Activists Across the Country Rally to #StopTheBans

People For in Action
Activists Across the Country Rally to #StopTheBans
Sen. Blumenthal and Rep. Chu at #StopTheBans rally.

Emboldened by Trump’s conservative Supreme Court agenda, including the push to overturn Roe v. Wade, many state legislators are moving to limit reproductive rights by passing some of the most restrictive abortion bans we’ve seen in recent history. Although these new bills are cloaked in a “pro-life” narrative, the attacks won’t save lives—they are nothing more than an attempt to strip people of their autonomy and reduce their power over their own bodies. As the Supreme Court is the last line of defense in the fight to overturn Roe, this wave of legislation is a reminder that elections do pose serious consequences for our courts.

To protest these abortion bans and protect the right to choose, PFAW joined a coalition of activists and organizations at the Supreme Court on May 21. This was part of a larger series of more than 500 protests that took place on the same day in all 50 states. Participating organizations included NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Center for American Progress, and the Women’s March.

Ilyse Hogue from NARAL spoke about the true nature of these bans and how restricting reproductive rights has always been a tactic to police bodily autonomy. She warned that these anti-choice legislators will not quit until Roe has been overturned, and called on everyone to pull out all stops to protect reproductive rights. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Conn., stated that “[a]ny restriction on women’s reproductive rights is unconstitutional,” and called on fellow members of Congress to pass protective legislation immediately.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., gave a speech about the history of policing female bodies, particularly for Black women. She promised the crowd that she will do everything she can to fight back and encouraged her colleagues in Congress to do the same. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., expressed similar sentiments about committing to stopping these severe restrictions that chip away at Roe, and noted that the energy of the D.C. crowd and the protests nationwide made her hopeful for the future of reproductive rights.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, discussed how Republicans have tried to disguise their true intentions and urged the crowd to remember that this is nothing more than an “all-out assault on women’s rights.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., stated that this was “a matter of civil rights” and discussed what life was like pre-Roe when abortion was still illegal, promising to fight against our country’s backward slide into that time.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., discussed the irony of Republicans trying to “help women” by criminalizing health care and “the most intimate decisions that it is our right to make.” Finally, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., called on every man to break his silence in this fight and stand beside women in defending Roe. He also argued for additional action, specifically suggesting that it’s time to end the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the patient’s life or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.

Watch full coverage of the rally here:


abortion access, Anti-Choice, choice, Promoting Gender Equity, rallying, Religious Right, reproductive choice, reproductive justice, reproductive rights, Roe v. Wade, states, Supreme Court