In January 2017, hundreds marched in Fresno in support of women’s rights. Now, because of the never-ending assault on women’s rights—for example, the new abortion law in Texas—women are mobilizing again and calling for a march on Oct. 2 in Fresno. Photo by Eduardo Stanley

Marching for Women’s Reproductive Rights

Just a few weeks ago, on Sept. 1, Texas implemented one of the strictest abortion laws in the country. Women are only allowed abortions before a pregnancy hits the six-week mark. By this time, health officials determined that there is a fetal heartbeat and thus makes abortions illegal.

“It’s our right to control our bodies and to choose our choices and that is what this Women’s March is mainly about,” stated Samantha Snow, a 21-year-old committee member.

For generations, women have been constantly battling the refusal of rights and the fear for future generations continues to grow. Joy Garrad, 35 years old, enjoys educating herself on the world’s political issues. Not so long ago, her father encouraged her to let her voice be heard.

Garrad credits her political participation to her father when one day he asked her what she planned on doing to contribute. She, along with a few other determined women, is ensuring their voices are heard on behalf of all women.

Loralee Berggall, 19 years old, is a political science major at Clovis Community College. Aside from her full-time schedule as a student, she also manages the tasks and details of the Women’s March. As a young teenager, she experienced discrimination against medical experts for performing abortions to women seeking them.

Each of these women was inspired by different occurrences or realizations in their life. Together, these three women joined forces and formed the nonprofit March for Reproductive Rights. The march is a peaceful protest designed for the community to come together and spread awareness.

Berggall mentioned that their statement behind the march is not so much pro choice but rather pro control. Educating the public on why having control over your own body is important is the organization’s goal.

“There are a lot of things that are misleading the public. I think it’s really important for the Women’s March and those who advocate for reproductive rights to hit back against the hypocrisy. The [Republican] Party that claims they are pro life [but] shows they are the opposite of that,” said Berggall.

WOMEN’S MARCH

Saturday, October 2, 9 a.m. 

Blackstone & Nees Avenues in Fresno

When considering abortion, the topic is much broader than the determining factor being a possible heartbeat. There are more than 44,000 kids who are enrolled in adoption agencies, and many of them often exceed the age limit for possible adoption.

Having access to the necessary medical procedures could easily reduce these statistics. Other situations such as homelessness or teen pregnancy are major contributors to these numbers as well.

Not many people feel comfortable enough to speak up when in need of this form of medical assistance. Now, what could that mean for the future of women?

“If we don’t speak up now, then what’s going to happen in the next couple of years? What other changes are going to be made if Texas is just the blueprint for other states,” stated Garrad.

Currently, Texas is the only state to pass a law that outlaws abortions after six weeks. However, that news left many wondering how far is too far for legislation.

What is happening in Texas now is a violation of human rights. And the Women’s March for Reproductive Rights advocates for full control over their bodies.

There is no asking in this situation. This community of strong women is now demanding their rights.

Women are already limited to what they have control of and have always fought for the privileges that are now available. Women of all ages are at stake with this new passing of the Texas Heartbeat Act.

On Sept. 1, when the news update was released, a surge of emotions filled the nation. The March for Reproductive Rights wants to give a chance to those wanting to express their thoughts. As a community, standing together will only make it that much more impactful.

As Snow had put it, “As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes an even bigger village to organize a march.”

The young women have dedicated themselves to those who are not able to voice their opinions. Uniting as a community allows the message to be heard even further and the meaning behind the march to be even stronger.

On Sept. 28, the Women’s March will host a poster-making party at the Full Circle Brewery (712 Fulton St.). The posters will be distributed to marchers and included in their peaceful protest.

Community members of all ages, both men and women, are welcome to participate. “We want everyone to attend. Mothers who bring their sons will allow the message to be instilled in them. The sons will begin to see that their mothers, sisters or aunts have rights that are being threatened,” said Garrad.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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