Over 1,000 people rally for the Portland Reproductive Rights March: “The Same Fight We’ve Been Fighting For Years”
More than 1,000 marchers gathered in southeast Portland on Saturday in a national call to action against a Texas law restricting access to abortion.
Texas law was passed in early September, giving the divided United States Supreme Court an opportunity to uphold or overturn the Roe v. Wade. The Biden administration urged a federal judge to block the law on Thursday, and protesters across the country took to the streets on Saturday to protest the legislation.
Protesters in Washington, DC, for example, marched to the steps of the Supreme Court and surrounded the White House.
The Portland Walkers were holding large signs, triggering pink and purple smoke signals and chanting, “They don’t say the choice, we say the pro choice,” as they walked a loop that started at Revolution Hall and ended. extended over more than 1.5 miles.
Many parents brought their children to learn and participate in the movement.
“It’s just a little sad,” said 12-year-old Gaby Schwartz, looking at her mother. Schwartz was surprised at the number of people who showed up.
Her mother, Shoshanna Lansberg, is from Texas and felt it was important to bring her daughter for the walk. Both currently reside in Beaverton.
“I brought my daughter here with me because she needs to see this,” Lansberg said. “See, we still have to fight – the same fight we have been fighting for years. “
Tents for Planned Parenthood and Oregon-based community groups were scattered around the dog park outside Revolution Hall, and speakers discussed their experiences fighting for abortion rights before and after the walk. .
Katie Jahangiri, event planner, was the first to speak and welcome the crowd. She noted Oregon’s reproductive care protections and was applauded for rejecting Statement from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on the march because it did not refer to people with a non-cisgender identity.
“What the mayor has done is a courageous erasure of all those affected by this fight,” Jahangiri told the crowd. “This is the PDX march for reproductive rights for all. “
Performance and visual artist Zeloszelos Marchandt addressed the crowd before the march. Marchandt is a black, Indigenous, transgender and gender nonconforming artist with projects focused on the intersection of sex, gender, race and social history.
“These systems that keep trying to silence us, to silence black and brown children, especially our black and brown, non-conforming and queer transgender children,” Marchandt said. “(Our kids) deserve to be frustrated and express it and let it out. And to be protected.
Jefferson Hawkins, 75, attended the rally alone and felt it was important to do so. Hawkins has been involved in protests since he was 18 and said he was involved in many anti-war movements.
“I’m an older guy, I’m a white guy,” Hawkins said. “But I support what is happening. I support women’s rights. I support trans rights. I support gay rights.
Other speakers included Jennifer Lincoln, general obstetrician, gynecologist and certified attending physician. Lincoln wore a white medical gown with “OBGYN for Abortion Access” on the back. The Portland-based doctor uses 2.3 million people on TikTok to discuss reproductive health and wellness.
“There are a lot of really good people in Texas who haven’t asked for this ban,” Lincoln said. “And I want them to know that we are here with them and that we will continue to walk to speak up, to speak, to donate.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.