Those who threaten to deny or constrict the reproductive rights of women should take heed. On Saturday hundreds marched in cities across the country to let the world know – women will not be silenced, nor will they go back to the days of coat hangers and backrooms.
Locally, Aurora held a march gathering at Simmons Park where neighboring communities joined Aurora to support reproductive rights. An estimated 200 were in attendance. At one point the heavens opened in a downpour with thunder rippling across the sky, but activists stayed to listen to guest speakers and to march in solidarity. Pooja Ravi, the organizer thanked those attending, while the crowd heard from poets, then from State Rep. Barbara Hernandez who represents the 83rd District. Hernandez spoke about the effects of the Texas Abortion Law known as SB8, and the extra burdens placed on women and their need to cross state lines, including traveling here to Illinois for reproductive care. The importance of voting in every election, as Hernandez emphasized, has never been greater. To defend our rights as women, we must be represented by elected officials who reflect the needs of their constituents.
And if history has taught women anything, it is that the young women who joined alongside the Roe V Wade generation is like the suffrage movement one hundred years ago. They will keep pressing until equality is genderless marching for the freedom to control their futures. For as one noted author described the marchers in Washington, D.C., “Real America is in D.C. There is no greater liberty than the right to determine what happens to your own body.”