Abortion Rights Freedom Ride Set to Visit Key Battlegrounds
Abortion Rights Freedom Ride Set to Visit Key
Battlegrounds, July 24 - August
Kick-Off Rallies Tuesday, July 23
San Francisco: Potrero Del Sol Park (Mission District), 4:30 – 6pm
NYC: North Side Union Square, 4 - 7 pm
On Tuesday, July 23rd, the national organization StopPatriarchy.org will draw together abortion rights activists from around the country to launch a month-long, 15-state Abortion Rights Freedom Ride with kick-off rallies in New York City and San Francisco. These rallies will condemn the spate of new restrictions on abortion being passed nationwide, include statements of support for the Freedom Ride from Eve Ensler, Janeane Garafolo, and others; and a speak-out where women publicly tell their stories of abortion.
The next day, July 24, Abortion Rights Freedom Ride will begin its caravans from both coasts and down the middle of the country, presenting “Abortion Providers Are Heroes” awards to abortion clinics, staff and doctors along their route, as well as holding protests and speak-outs against new state-level restrictions on abortion and against the politicians and groups behind them (key stops listed below).
“Abortion rights are in a state of emergency and this fight has never been about 'babies.' It has always been about control over women. You can tell that because none of the major anti-abortion organizations support birth control. At its core, forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement,” said Sunsara Taylor, spokesperson and initiator of StopPatriarchy.org.
The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride takes place as the fight around abortion rights is heating up across the country. This week, Texas governor Rick Perry signed into law new legislation which is expected to close 37 out of 42 abortion clinics in the state despite protests that filled the capitol and the surrounding streets. In North Dakota, new legislation is scheduled to go into effect on August 1st which would close the only clinic in the state unless there is a court-injunction. New laws are working their way through state-houses across the country, and this is coming after two consecutive years of record restrictions on abortion access.
Organizers of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride have drawn inspiration from the original Civil Rights Freedom Rides of 1961. “Right now laws are going into effect that treat women as less than fully human, and it is all of our responsibility, no matter where we live, to stand up and to fight to turn the tide,” explained Taylor.
The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride will be in Fargo, North Dakota (just as new laws may close the last clinic in the state), in Wichita, Kansas (where Dr. George Tiller was assassinated four years ago and where the new clinic owner faces serious death threats), and in Jackson, Mississippi (where the last clinic in the state remains open only due to a temporary court injunction on new restrictions).
David Gunn Jr., son of the first abortion doctor murdered by an anti-abortion gunman, is another key organizer of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride and of the concluding rally in Jackson on August 17th.
Available for interviews:
Sunsara Taylor writes for Revolution newspaper (revcom.us) and is an initiator of the movement to End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women (StopPatriarchy.org).
David Gunn, Jr., is the son of David Gunn, Sr., the first abortion doctor to be assassinated by an anti-abortion gunman. He blogs for Abortion.ws.
Dr. Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, is a board member of Physicians for Reproductive Health and the recipient of the 2013 George Tiller MD Abortion Provider Award for “his dedication to providing abortion care in underserved regions of the U.S. and for demonstrating leadership and courage.”
Days of Action (See stoppatriarchy.org for full itinerary and updates)
Saturday, August 3:
Saturday, August 10: Wichita, KS
Saturday, August 17: Jackson, MS