The Sanger Family marched for women’s lives on April 25, 2004. I don’t recall that my grandmother ever staged a march for birth control. She often was marched to and from police stations, but she never staged a march on Washington.
This is how low the reproductive rights fortunes have sunk that we have to march for our rights 31 years after Roe and 39 years after Griswold. That these decisions are still subject to debate shows that we have failed in our most basic task to explain to the American people why reprodcutive freedom is as important as our other freedoms and why those freedoms should be found within the definition of “liberty” in the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.
It was so heartening to see so many young people in the crowd, including 3 of my grandmother’s great-grandchildren. They will carry on.
There were proportionately more men in the anti-choice crowd than in the pro-choice marchers. There were a few brave marchers carrying Pro-choice Republican signs. The furure of reproductive freedom is nor just in the hands of the marchers and the Democratic Party; it is in the hands of the Republican Party and of men. As long as the couintry is divided, and men and women are divided, reproductive freedom will be a political shuttlecock to be battled from side to side, with women gaining and losing freedom when administrations change.
The anger at President Bush in the crowd was palpable. While the March was supposed to be non-partisan, it ended up being highly partisan.
I spoke at a pre-rally in Dupont Circle on Friday April 23. I told the crowd that they were the only thing standing between Roe and the criminalization of abortion. We have to make it unacceptable and unthinkable for any politician or judge to vote for criminalization. Hopefully politicians of both parties will get the message in November. It’s up to us.