Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pro-choice advocates “STAND UP. FIGHT BACK.” at the Supreme Rally for Women’s Rights

On July 8th, Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus joined many other women’s organizations at the Supreme Rally for Women’s Rights in Boston City Hall Plaza to express disapproval of the recent US Supreme Court decisions which limited access to reproductive health care. As a sponsor, MWPC mobilized pro-choice citizens, made demonstration signs, and helped set up for the event.  The outpouring of support from the pro-choice community was phenomenal, with hundreds in attendance making their voices heard.

Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, a former MWPC Board Member and endorsed candidate, emceed the rally. Councilor Pressley’s passion and charisma set the tone, firmly proclaiming, “You should be angry. Hell, it’s mandatory to be angry about injustice.” She introduced leaders in the fight for women’s rights who spoke at the invent including but not limited to Attorney General Martha Coakley, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Governor Deval Patrick, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Executive Director Megan Amundson, and Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts President Mary Walz. All spoke of their dismay at the recent Supreme Court rulings in the cases of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.  and McCullen v Coakley, which rules against women’s rights in favor of religious freedom and freedom of expression respectively.  Speakers were adamant that they were working tirelessly to combat these decisions with new legislation that will bolster and protect the right of women to access reproductive health care.  Governor Patrick begged the crowd not to be discouraged but rather to use the opportunity to “make a claim” on the government.

The Supreme Rally for Women’s Rights was emotionally charged. Speakers and the crowd expressed anger and disappointment, but in solidarity. The unity of the speakers, organizers, and demonstrators in purpose and feeling, resonated of hope and inspiration. The rally cries rang in tune with democracy in action. Though the Supreme Court made rulings were fundamental setbacks for women’s rights, the Supreme Rally made clear how Massachusetts pro-choice advocates will respond—“When  women’s rights are under attack, what’ll we do? STAND UP. FIGHT BACK.”
Allysha Roth