Texas's Abortion Ban: SB8 and the Fight for Reproductive Justice

Union Square, New York, NY 10003, USA

I had the incredible opportunity to join hundreds of passionate women, men, people of color, those identifying as LGBTQ in the march from Union Square on 14th Street to Washington Square park as a protest against the cruel law that was recently passed in Texas. 

If you aren't already familiar with what's been happening, Texas passed the Senate Bill 8 which is the new law that bans abortion after 6 weeks in a pregnancy. This is a near total-ban of abortion, but it also allows private citizens to enforce the law, rather than government actors. It also incentivizes this, meaning those who sue a person pursuing an abortion will be rewarded $10,000. 

This newfound power that's been given to private citizens (both in and outside Texas) further restricts the reproductive freedoms of women and trans men with the potential impact on those in their circles. To summarize, the Senate Bill 8 gives citizens the ability to enforce the law and sue anyone - not just those who are trying to get an abortion - but even the driver transporting them to the clinic, or even a friend who comes with them. The fact that anyone has this power is scary, and it's further enforced with anonymous tip sites, like the Texas Right to Life tipline that TikTokers have bombarded with Shrek porn

It was an amazing experience to be in the presence of hundreds of activists and the organizers of the protest today. Hearing so many people from organizations speak, provide facts, share why the Texas abortion ban is cruel, and mentioned other communities that have been affected. Cathy Rojas, the incredible woman who is running for Mayor of New York City, spoke out about how pro-lifers were liars: "They say [that government officials] are making these laws because they want to defend life; but at every moment, they show us they are killing life when they [sterilized] immigrant women, when they put children in cages in the borders, when they kidnap our black and brown youth from our streets and send them to Rikers..." she shouts through the microphone in front of the banner that says Free, Safe, Legal Abortion on Demand

We all wore the color green to show our solidarity for the protests that happened in Mexico prior to the decriminalization of abortion that came into effect recently. Before the march and once we arrived in Washington Square park, they spoke of and raised awareness and call-to-actions on a number of issues, including street harassment of people outside abortion clinics (such as the "Witness for Life" group that plans to harass and intimidate people going to the Planned Parenthood in Brooklyn Heights every Saturday), raising awareness that it's more than just a women's rights issue, but it also affects LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter movement, immigrant lives, and low-income people. 





They have another event being held in midtown on Sunday October 3rd – the anniversary of Rosie JimĂ©nez, who died of a back-alley abortion in 1977. If you're in New York City, I hope to see you there. 

Contact ReproJusticeNowNYC@gmail.com for more information about how to get involved, as well as visiting NYC for Abortion Rights (who organized the protest) for more events! 

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