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San José rallies and marches for reproductive rights

By staff |
July 3, 2022
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Protest against attacks on abortion rights in San Jose, CA.
Protest against attacks on abortion rights in San Jose, CA. (Fight Back! News/staff)

San José, CA - On the evening of the day of the SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v. Wade, June 24, about 400 people rallied at San José City Hall. The next day, Saturday, June 25, about 2500 people gathered at San José City Hall to march through downtown.

Many community organizers, as well as enraged local residents spoke to the importance of preserving Roe. v. Wade, and why this is only the beginning of further attacks on women’s and reproductive rights. Throughout the march, chants of “When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” were heard throughout downtown San José.

The rally and march were led by members of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), along with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Communist Party USA (CPUSA), Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and B.L.A.C.K. Outreach San Jose.

A member of the CPUSA told the crowd, “We are all here today at the core of the richest country that has ever existed, in Silicon Valley, home to the looters of the world. Because voting, as a strategy alone, has not been enough.”

A speaker from the PSL stated, “Capitalism always takes back the few rights and few choices we do have. We have no choice but to fight! We have no choice but to build a new system. We need a socialist system where abortion rights are not on the line, where everyone is housed, where there isn’t a baby formula shortage, where there isn’t a million deaths from COVID, where working class people are in power. We need a system built for us, and by us.”

A representative from the board of Planned Parenthood stated, “This is not just an attack on women’s rights, this is an attack on the working class, working families, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community. This is an attack on us all! And the only way we can combat this and fight back is if we all work together. We need to hold our politicians accountable.”

David Almeida from SDS spoke to the importance of Roe v. Wade to the LBGTQ community, “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.”

Andy Schaefer from FRSO spoke on the effects that this would have on poor and working-class women and other people with the ability to become pregnant, as well as women of oppressed nationalities such as Black and Chicana women. “Working-class and poor women make up the majority of people getting abortions and bear the heaviest burden, facing a new reason for criminalization, a lack of resources to travel for an abortion, and the risk of injury or death from back-alley abortions. Almost two-thirds of abortions are obtained by Black, Chicano, and other oppressed nationality women and removing the right to abortion would worsen national oppression in the United States.”

Shaefer went on to highlight the need for sustained mass struggle and organization to defend and expand access to reproductive healthcare. “We’ve learned from history and similar struggles. Many of the so-called constitutional rights we take for granted date back only to the 1960s, a time when the Civil Rights movement, the women’s rights movement, and many other important mass movements were at an all-time high. The right to abortion access, like all other rights working people have in the U.S., was won through mass struggle. Only mass struggle will save us.”

The San José coalition to defend women’s and reproductive rights of FRSO, CPUSA, PSL, DSA, and B.L.A.C.K. Outreach will stay in the streets to fight for and defend women’s and reproductive rights.

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