On Saturday, in major cities and tiny towns in every state, people gathered to march at abortion rights protests. People of all genders, ages, religions, sexualities, and abilities took to the streets with chants like “My body, my choice, her body, her choice,” and “Pro-life, your name’s a lie. You don’t care if people die.” Activists and activists-in-the-making shared rage, grief, humor, and political strategies, in response to this month’s news that the Supreme Court has reportedly voted to roll back Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that found a constitutional right to abortion.
Elderly women decades deep into their abortion fights marched alongside young girls taking their first steps as activists. Dogs walked patiently along march routes packed with thousands of protesters. Straight, cis-men practiced showing up. Multigenerational families spent their Saturdays parked in front of city halls, and thousands of signs danced in the air.
The reversal of Roe v. Wade will plunge the country into an even deeper human rights crisis in which women and gender and sexual minorities may face constant peril. On Saturday, Glamour caught up with people in eight cities who showed up for abortion rights protests.
Cheryl, 57, Orlando, Florida
I’m the mom of three 20-something girls. I had “the talk” with my doctor twice in my life. The first time, I chose an abortion. The second time, I chose to let nature take its course. The choice is MINE because abortion IS a healthcare treatment option that should never be banned. The protection I had to choose my healthcare outcome was from Roe v. Wade. It allowed me to vote Republican my whole life. I don’t have that protection any more. I’m going to today’s rally to figure out how to pivot from a lifelong Republican, to the opposite.
Allie, 14, San Francisco, Ca
It’s scary to think that teenagers who may accidentally get pregnant are forced to have a baby, and that’s not right at all. They could have to drop out of school, and all their dreams could be crushed from it.
Nina, 13, San Francisco, Ca
I just like to think abortion is something I can have in the future. It’s not something I need now, but in the future I never know.
Aaron, 33, Dallas, Texas
As a cis man, I came to the rally because I wanted to show my support to the people whose right to an abortion is being severely threatened and show them they are not alone in this fight to keep that right 100% protected. It is very important to me that everyone who is able to have a child—women, men, and non-binary people alike—have the right to make decisions about their reproductive healthcare without interference. The speeches at the rally were extremely powerful and I hope everyone who was at the rally make a plan to vote for pro-choice candidates and bring their like-minded families and friends with them to do the same.
Katie Hobbs, 52, Phoenix, Arizona (Hobbs is Arizona’s Secretary of State)
Before I ran for office, I was a social worker, and I helped run one of the largest domestic violence shelters in the country. I’ve seen firsthand the devastating effects that a dangerous, traumatizing, or unplanned pregnancy can have on a woman and her family. I’ve seen the vicious cycle that poverty and lack of access to reproductive healthcare creates. And that’s why I am steadfast in my belief that the decision to have a child should rest solely between a woman and her doctor, not politicians or the government.
A total ban on abortion is not want the majority of Arizonans support. Those who are pushing these extreme abortion bans know that the only way they can achieve their unpopular goals is to restrict people’s right to vote. The fight to protect our democracy is the fight to protect abortion rights.
Rachel, 25, Knoxville, TN
With everything that has happened the past few years, it feels like women’s rights are going backwards instead of forward. Not every woman is in a safe environment or able to get out there and speak up for what is right. So for the people that are able to, it’s important to go and show your support. This was my first protest or rally and I didn’t know what to expect but it was great seeing all of the local support in Knoxville with businesses cheering us on and chanting along the route.
Lucas Kunce, St. Louis, Missouri
Kunce, a 13-year veteran of the Marines, is running for U.S. Senate in Missouri in 2022
“When this decision comes down in June, abortion will be illegal in Missouri, with no exceptions for rape or incest. That’s un-American bullshit. What happened today in St. Louis was a bunch of real people coming together to fight back against the political elites who are obsessed with controlling us. The thousands of Missourians who showed up today want to be able to live their own lives on their own terms and make their own damn choices. This is about real people having power, not criminal politicians passing Big Brother laws. Washington better be listening—kill the filibuster and protect abortion rights or get the hell out of our way.”
Kate, 35, Cincinnati, Ohio
I attended the rally because I am appalled that this is still a discussion, and even more so that we face the impending loss of the constitutional right to medical privacy and bodily autonomy. I’ve always been pro-choice, but became even more so when my very normal, healthy, and wanted first pregnancy led to a traumatic delivery. No person should be required to undergo such a taxing and invasive experience unless they choose it, and I will continue to fight so that people everywhere, including my children, have the right to receive whatever medical care they need, whenever they need it.
Karen, 38, San Francisco, Ca
I wanted to come to show support for the women in the San Francisco community. My mother just passed away. I’m marching here for her. I have women in my life who’ve been sexually assaulted. It’s just a very personal cause for me.
Jennifer, 46, Colchester, Vermont
I believe that people should be able to make their own medical decisions, not politicians. Reversing Roe v. Wade will only hurt those with low incomes who can’t afford to travel. It is unjust. And the thought of my five year old daughter growing up with less rights than I’ve had makes me sad and angry. Reversing Roe v. Wade will only further divide our country and won’t prevent abortions—it will just prevent safe ones.
Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. You can follow her on Twitter.
The post 10 People on Why They Showed Up to Abortion Rights Protests appeared first on Glamour.