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Pro-choice activists rally in Jackson, Mississippi, defend Roe

By Quest Riggs |
June 19, 2022
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Jackson, MS - Around 200 reproductive rights activists from four states gathered in Jackson, Mississippi on June 17. They demonstrated against the U.S. Supreme Court as the country anticipates its decision on a Mississippi case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. The activists called themselves Abortion Freedom Fighters and called their action a D-Day Rally in defiance of the Republican-dominated Supreme Court and their determination to defend abortion access. 

The central organizers of the event were Sisters Helping Every Woman Rise and Organize (SHERO Mississippi), a Jackson reproductive justice group. They led the crowd in chanting, “I am an abortion freedom fighter!” 

Local organizer Michelle Colon said, “The Supreme Court does not control our destiny, we do.”

The demonstration was held in Smith Park with sound and stage work provided by IATSE local 589 members. Organizations from every state in the Gulf South were represented.

Over 20 activists from New Orleans traveled together to demonstrate with the Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom. Jessica Frankle, an LCRF leader, spoke at the rally, “We will continue to center the needs of those who are most impacted, and we will push back against attempts to turn providers or patients into criminals.”

 Members of the New Orleans-based transgender rights organization Real Name Campaign traveled to Jackson with the caravan. In the middle of Pride month, they highlighted the solidarity between the LGBTQ movement and the reproductive rights movement. 

“Both gender affirming care and abortion access are essential healthcare needs that must be protected so women and LGBTQ people can participate fully and equally in society,” said Mar Erlich of Real Name Campaign.

Anti-choice fundamentalists tried to violently disrupt the rally, hurling racist slurs and threats to provoke the protesters. They were drastically outnumbered by pro-choice activists. An armed community security team prevented the anti-choice group from attacking pro-choice demonstrators.