Every year on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s famous Roe v. Wade decision, thousands of anti-choice protesters congregate in our nation’s capital to protest the historic ruling that endeavored to make women’s healthcare more accessible. And every year, they’re met with a peaceful, civil counterprotest by pro-choice activists working to preserve those rights.
It’s been 42 years since the Roe v. Wade decision and 42 years of protesting and counterprotesting. This year was no different, and I was thrilled to get to participate.
A group of about 50 of us from the Feminist Majority Foundation and from schools in the Feminist Campus network rallied outside the Supreme Court for hours in support of women’s health. While our contingent was small compared to the tens of thousands anti-choice protesters who’d been bused in from all over the country, we knew we weren’t alone. Several of our allies also were there to add their voices, including our friends at NOW. We received a lot of hate from the anti-choicers, mostly shaming us for our differing views. A lot of people told me how badly they felt for my mom. When I told my mom this, she said, “Proud of you girl! Without people like you having a voice and using it where would people like me be?!” I was kind of touched to hear her say that.
Ultimately, we knew going into the rally that we were up against fierce and often cruel competition. But it’s worth it. Women’s rights are worth it. And though it’s tiring to have to keep fighting for those rights 42 years later, I’ll gladly fight for them for another 42 if I have to.