In response to the leaked news of the Supreme Court’s plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, over 3,000 people came out in Madison Tuesday night for an Emergency Protest to Defend Abortion Rights. Catie Thoemke is the treasurer of the UW Madison chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA), which was among the sponsors and organizers of the event. Below is Thoemke’s speech from the rally.
As many of you know, last night it was leaked that the Supreme Court intends to overturn Roe v Wade. In the state of Wisconsin, there is a 172-year-old law in place that would immediately ban all abortions in Wisconsin the second Roe v. Wade is overturned. Right now, the United States has a Democratic majority in the senate, the house, and the presidency, which means the Democratic Party has had the ability to codify the right to abortion into law, protecting its legality in all 50 states, and yet they have failed to do so. So we are all here today to make our voices heard and fight for the protection of our rights which are being denied to us by those in power.
What is happening in our country right now is scary, it is unscientific and it is undemocratic. Even though the vast majority of Americans are in favor of Roe v. Wade, the nine people on the Supreme Court who were not elected by us to their positions of power have the ability to strip all of us of our rights to basic healthcare. 1 in 4 people with uteruses get an abortion at some point in their lifetime. Whether you know it or not, I guarantee everyone here knows someone who has or will get an abortion. This will affect everyone here, but it will especially affect the working class. While the wealthy will always have access to special care and the ability to travel to receive abortions elsewhere, working class people do not have this same privilege.
75% of people who get abortions cannot afford a child, and 42% of people who get abortions live below the poverty line. The majority of people who get abortions already have at least one child. The majority of people who get abortions are Black, indigenous, and people of color. Banning abortions bans the termination of ectopic pregnancies which are never viable and often life threatening, it bans abortions for victims of assault, it bans abortions for minors.
Anyone who is truly “pro-life” should be angry right now. Making abortion illegal doesn’t make abortions go away, it only makes them unsafe. For many people, a ban on abortion is a death sentence. Anyone who is truly “pro-life” should care about poor people, they should care about parents, they should care about survivors. All abortions are healthcare. We need to be fighting until abortions are not only legal, but easily accessible and free. And it is up to us to be angry and outspoken, because if we do not fight for our basic rights, the people in power certainly won’t.
Please join us back in the streets on Saturday at 3pm on the Capitol steps for a rally in support of reproductive justice and access to abortion. Being your rage, your heartbreak, and your commitment to protect the most vulnerable in our community impacted by an abortion ban. Facebook event:
Photos by Ryan W, Kevin C, and Tessa E