Austin students rally in defense of abortion rights
Austin, TX – The Austin Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organized a rally at the University of Texas at Austin on September 15 in defense of women's and reproductive rights, as a part of the National SDS Day of Action. About 35 students rallied at 6 p.m. at the corner of Speedway and 21st Street on UT campus. Speakers from six other organizations gave speeches condemning the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the Texas Heartbeat Act.
The Texas Heartbeat Act (SB8) was passed in September last year in preparation for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. It bans abortions when there are cells that will later form a heart detected in the embryo, or about three weeks into a pregnancy.
“What is really needed in this fight is sustained mass movement building and activity in the streets that shows that we demand reproductive rights,” Jake Holtzman of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization said. “We can’t sit around and wait for politicians, we need to act right now, because we refuse to take another step back!”
Austin SDS has been active over the summer and the beginning of the fall semester in defending the right to safe abortions and fighting SB8, both on campus and in the streets of Austin.
One Austin SDS member, Jules Lattirmore, spoke out during the rally: “Let’s also recognize how UT administration has been complicit in allowing the Texas abortion ban to pass without even making a single statement against it.”
Enraged by the actions of the unelected Supreme Court and the wildly unpopular SB8, students broke out in chants of “Hey hey! Ho ho! The heartbeat bills have got to go!” and “Pro-life is a lie, they don't care if women die!” During the rally, passerby students joined the rally in solidarity, participating in chants and erupting in applause for the student speakers.