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Texas: Students rally for women’s rights

By staff |
September 5, 2021
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Texas protest against attacks on women's right to chose.
Texas protest against attacks on women's right to chose. (Roderick Alalay)

Arlington, TX - On September 1, the Progressive Student Union rallied 50 people to protest the recent attacks launched by Governor Greg Abbott and the GOP against women’s rights, and democracy. The most egregious of these attacks came in the form of an anti-abortion bill that sought to restrict the access to abortion in Texas to only the first six weeks of pregnancy, and made it a liable offense to offer aid in a woman getting an abortion in any way if it was beyond the first six weeks.

Mark Napieralski, chief organizer of PSU, spoke to the long history of Texas’s attempts to restrict and defund abortion providers in the state, dating all the way back to the early 2000s when Texas sought to specifically defund Planned Parenthood. He also spoke about the tragic reality of women seeking abortions when they were illegal, like Geraldine Santoro. “If abortions aren’t regulated and safe, we’re going to see more and more women dying painfully like Santoro,” he said.

Ebonee Richards, another chief organizer for PSU, helped lead in chants with the crowd such as “When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” and “Abortion is a right!” She echoed that the attacks on abortion are fundamentally an attack on women’s rights, as they are the first steppingstone in attempting to push women back further into the background.

Syamon, a speaker and member of PSU, spoke of the two-pronged attack Abbott is waging against Texans as a whole. She recalled that attacking abortion rights are an instinctual fear of women becoming bolder, more independent, and having to not live in the background anymore. She spoke to the fact the GOP are using the same tools and institutions to attack democratic rights and women’s rights in one fell swoop.

She ended off the protest by saying, “We had a good turnout. I’m so glad to see so many new faces to UTA who were not just brave enough to believe in access to abortion, but fight for it as well. We can move mountains so long as we remain organized, mobilized, and ready to win!”

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