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Denver students hold rally for reproductive rights

By staff

Denver, CO – On November 16, students gathered on Auraria Campus to stand against attacks on reproductive rights. The event was held by Denver Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and The Brazen Project. Members of each organization gave speeches advocating for reproductive rights and bringing attention to the recently enacted Texas Heartbeat Act. Students protested the ban and advanced the demand that women have access to safe and legal abortions in Texas and across the U.S.

As of September 1, abortion is outlawed in Texas once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Heartbeats begin about six weeks after conception, before many women even realize they may be pregnant. Women who are suspected to have received an illegal abortion and doctors suspected to have performed an illegal abortion can be sued a minimum of $10,000 if the case is won.

Roe v. Wade has guaranteed women the right to an abortion since 1973. The enactment of this Texas bill infringes on a constitutional right that has been in place for nearly half a century. “This is more than an abortion issue, this is a human rights issue,” states Jae Nokes, a member of SDS. “If we're going to be forced into childbirth, then childcare needs to be free; there needs to be maternity leave in every workplace; birth control and education about birth control that goes beyond abstinence training needs to be available and widespread. These are demands we have had even before the Heartbeat Act, but they’re things these male lawmakers have probably never even considered in their lives.”

This bill also stands to have a disproportionate impact on low-income and oppressed peoples. Economically disadvantaged women already face discrimination and lack of access to resources within the healthcare system. This bill clearly demonstrates a democratic failure within the Texan and U.S. legal system. With several other states attempting to enact their own version of this bill, it is clear that this is an issue that goes far beyond just Texas. The response to the bill has ignited protests across the country, and SDS resolves to continue the fight for women’s rights.

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