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San José State students rally for reproductive rights

By staff |
May 19, 2022
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San José, CA - On May 16, about 50 students gathered at the Olympic Black Power Statue, at San José State University, to rally in defense of Roe v. Wade.

Many student and community organizers, as well as concerned students and community members spoke to the importance of preserving Roe v. Wade, and why the right to abortion and reproductive health care is a human right and should be codified into law. Throughout the rally, “Fight! Fight! Fight! Abortion is a human right!” and “My body! My choice!” echoed throughout campus.

This rally was led by members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), along with Student Homeless Alliance (SHA), Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA), Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), and Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO).

David Almeida from SDS reminded the crowd about the decades long struggle of blood, sweat and tears that the women’s movement faced in the 1960s and 1970s to win these rights. He spoke about the implications this decision would have on the LGBTQ community as well, stating “Roe v. Wade is also the foundation in U.S. law for the privacy rights of LGBTQ people. It’s no surprise that this move comes in the recent context of right-wing legislation across the country restricting access to abortions and targeting LGBTQ folks. Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill and Texas’ moves to criminalize medical treatments for transgender youth are just two examples.”

Almeida continued, “The ruling classes and the SCOTUS are telling women that all the things that they do, such as having a career or getting an education, things that women have fought for the right to do throughout our history, are secondary to birthing and raising children. A person’s health, financial stability, or already-existing family obligations do not matter to them. The authors of this draft opinion pretend to care about ‘precious’ human life, but do not care about the poverty and hardship that these children and mothers would endure.”

Muskan Parashar from YDSA identified it as a working-class issue. “Abortion rights are something 70% of Americans agree on; it’s a working-class issue, it’s a race issue, it’s a gender issue.” Parashar added, “We all know that banning abortions will not stop abortions, they will simply stop safe abortions.”

Irom Thockchom of PSL spoke to the failures of the Democrat Party. “The Democratic Party is in control of two of the three houses of government. [They] had the chance to codify Roe v. Wade, prove to us that we should vote for them and that they actually care about our rights, and the Women’s Health Protection Act lost 49-51, with our old friend, Joe Manchin, deciding that this is not a right that deserves to be protected.”

Tiffany Yep, from Student Homeless Alliance, spoke about her mother’s difficult pregnancy with her, and her other two twin siblings. Her mother had to abort the fourth fetus in her womb due to health complications. “But, most importantly, this fetus put both my mother’s life, and the lives of the other three fetuses at risk. The doctor advised my mom to abort two out of four fetuses, because having more than two babies at a time is considered high risk, and this was compounded by the fact that my mother was already 40 years old at the time, so it was even more high risk. My mother didn’t want to abort them at first, but she chose to abort that fourth fetus because she was able to listen to her doctor, and make a medical decision that was in her best interest, while also giving the rest of us the highest chance at life.”