Written by Devon Mitchell
On Saturday, October 2nd, more than 600 marchers took to the streets of Roanoke amid worries of the recent abortion laws in Texas. Hundreds of other marches took place across the U.S. rallying women’s rights activists together to express their disdain with the restrictive reproductive laws in Texas, two days before the Supreme Court was set to reconvene to discuss hot button issues including abortion rights.
Roanoke’s Women March and Roanoke Indivisible rallied together to organize Saturday’s march at River’s Edge Park. Roanoke College’s Dr. Wallace Fuentes of the history department was one of the march’s organizers. In an ABC 13 News article, Dr. Wallace Fuentes was quoted saying, “We are here to defend our rights to reproductive healthcare at every stage in our life.” (ABC News, 2021).
At the march, women shared their own stories of sexual assault, rape, and how reproductive freedom has affected them. One of the speakers stated an assault on reproductive rights is both a “war on women” and a “war on constitutional human rights”.
In Washington D.C., celebrities and citizens participated in a “sister march” while maintaining COVID safety by wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Comedian Cristela Alonzo hosted a rally attended by stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer. Like Roanoke, speakers at the D.C. march took center stage, speaking on the importance of abortion rights.
Saturday marked a historic day across the U.S. for women. Hundreds of thousands of women came together to show the government they have no say in how they manage their own bodies. The battle on reproductive rights continues, and the most recent march is a small victory to be won.