Multiple groups gathered at Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse on Tuesday evening for a rally in support of abortion access after the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.
It was made public that the Supreme Court had reached a majority opinion to overturn the historic Roe V. Wade on May 2. Roe v Wade is the case that established abortion rights in the United States. The initial draft of the majority opinion was written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and was revealed in an article by Politico.
The Long Beach community gathered to demonstrate their support for abortion access by listening to speakers and marching through the streets of downtown Long Beach. Activist groups such as; Women of Long Beach, LB OC Women Rising, and CSULB’s La F.U.E.R.Z.A Student Association led the group of over 100 protesters with speakers sharing their thoughts on the importance of legal abortion access.
Representatives of Senator Lena Gonzales were at the rally and spoke to the crowd on her behalf.
“Our nation should support everyone’s dignity and their ability to determine their own future; denying access to abortion care means denying reproductive freedom and it doesn’t align with our nation’s values. I remain committed to advocation for equitable access to safe, affordable abortion care in California,” said a spokeswoman for Senator Gonzales.
Organizers from Black Lives Matter Long Beach also attended the rally and spoke about intersectionality in the reproductive rights movement. Organizer Sheila Bates spoke about how abortion laws disproportionately affect people of color.
“Abortion access is fundamental to human rights. It is a racial justice issue, a disability justice issue, a healthcare issue, a class issue, a housing issue, and an educational justice issue. We have to be honest about the fact that black and brown people, and black and brown women, have never had full access to our bodies,” said Bates.
Bates went on to tell the crowd about the statistical differences between black and white maternal mortality rates. According to the CDC, the maternal mortality rate for black women in 2020 was 2.9 times higher than that of white women with 55.3 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
The Women of Long Beach organization were active at the rally and had multiple speakers give their support for legal abortion access. Women of Long Beach member and former City Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce spoke about the need to focus on people of color and the youth in the fight for reproductive justice.
“They are the ones that are going to have possibly more restrictive laws on their bodies than our grandparents had. What’s happening now is not a rollback to what used to be, it is something that is even worse,” said Pearce.
More protests and rallies are expected to happen throughout the next few weeks as more groups make their voices heard in response to the supreme court decision.
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By Morgan Trivitt