Hundreds rally in S.F. supporting Roe v. Wade

‘We have seen some of the worst anti abortion laws being passed’

A crowd of roughly 1000 protesters flocked to San Francisco’s Phillip Burton Federal Building near City Hall Tuesday evening to rally for reproductive rights in the wake of a leaked document showing the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in 1973.

“I want to know how many of you are furious and angry right now,” said Gilda Gonzales, the chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Northern California. “It is time to channel that into a call to action.”

The City’s rally was organized by the San Francisco chapter of the National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice. When the leaked opinion got out Monday night, “It was all hands on deck,” rally organizer Nancy Kato said. “We’ve been preparing for this. It just came a little earlier than we thought.”

Up until the protest, San Francisco’s national mobilization chapter phoned other organizations throughout the area in an attempt to coordinate and unify their responses. “We want it to be one movement. It’s not a bunch of little movements,” said Kato.

Organizers’ demands included protecting and expanding safe legal abortions and repealing the Hyde Amendment, a legislative provision which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of a woman.

Some local and state officials came out to stand in solidarity with pro-abortion activists.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta promised speakers that he would use “the full authority of the law and the full power of my office to protect the right to choose.”

Bonta said he believes reproductive health care decisions should be made by an individual without interference by acting politicians. “In California, we don’t go back, we go forward,” said Bonta. “We move forward and we take the rest of the nation with us. That’s who we are. That’s what we have done. That’s how we fight.”

Mayor London Breed, who also spoke, noted California’s progressive reproductive rights policies, which give residents protections that are not afforded nationwide. “We are lucky here in San Francisco and here in California,” she said. “But it should not be about luck.”

Breed noted that just as The City has banded together in its pandemic response, residents would have to come together and protect the rights of targeted communities. “This is a health crisis… this is about saving lives,” she said.

Closing out the rally, protestors marched down Market Street with chants of “my body, my choice” erupting in pockets throughout the procession.

As supporters prepare to defend reproductive rights, Kato believes the pro-abortion movement will continue gaining traction. “People want to do the right things,” she said.

jsalazar@sfexaminer.com

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