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On June 24, take to the streets in protest as we reach one year without Roe!

By staff

The movement for reproductive rights has scored some victories, but Roe has always been the floor – we want more!

Call to action June 24

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following joint call to action from the Reproductive Justice Action – Milwaukee and the Minnesota Abortion Action Committee.

Since the summer of 2022, the fight for reproductive rights has been front and center in the people’s movements, as the Supreme Court has demonstrated that long held protections and fundamental human rights can be stripped from the masses quickly and without remorse. The overturning of Roe vs. Wade on June 24, 2022 effectively revoked federal protections for a person’s right to an abortion, meaning that states with conservative majorities across the country have been able to pass drastic abortion bans and restrictions. This is an attack on the women’s and reproductive rights movement which has fought long and hard for these freedoms, as well as an attack on accessible healthcare for all, and on the working class in general.

Birth control and the ability to terminate a pregnancy are basic forms of bodily autonomy. The overturning of Roe has reminded us that victories for bodily autonomy come from struggle, as people marched in the thousands last summer across the United States and continue to do so, and that the fight against the Christian Right is far from over. A recent battle over the F.D.A. approval of Mifepristone, a drug used in over half of U.S. abortions and which many people rely on when receiving an abortion at home or by mail, has demonstrated the effectiveness of grassroots struggle in fighting back against the anti-abortion agenda.

On April 15, 2023 activists and supporters in Milwaukee heeded the call of Reproductive Justice Action – Milwaukee (RJAM) to gather in protest outside the Milwaukee County Courthouse in opposition to the attacks against Mifepristone. This was only one of many protests to occur for the National Call to Action, since news broke of a decision by Matthew Kacsmaryk, a U.S. District judge based out of Amarillo, Texas, to suspend the F.D.A. approval of the medication. The fight to save access to Mifepristone was yet another hurdle in the broader struggle for bodily autonomy in Wisconsin where assisting, receiving and providing abortions is currently a felony charge due to State Statute 940.04. RJAM has been fighting for abortion access since the reinstatement of the nearly 200-year old law. The grassroots movement led by RJAM has taken many steps forward in the fight against the abortion ban. Some achievements include having a resolution passed by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors stating that they do not agree with the current state laws, and having an advisory referendum on this most recent spring ballot that showed 76% of Milwaukee County voters wanted access to safe and legal abortion. Their fight to make Milwaukee an abortion sanctuary continues through two on-going initiatives. The first is forcing Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chishlom to sign a pledge stating he will dismiss all abortion cases, and the second is to win funding for Milwaukee County Employees’ travel expenses accrued from needing to receive abortion services out of state.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, activists in the Minnesota Abortion Action Committee (MNAAC) simultaneously answered the call to defend Mifepristone with an emergency protest outside of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office. With Minnesota acting as a sanctuary state for abortion in the upper Midwest, organizing efforts have focused on making abortion as accessible as possible, so that Minnesotans, as well as individuals from surrounding states where abortion is illegal, such as Wisconsin, can receive the reproductive healthcare they deserve. By calling this action and advocating for the protection of Mifepristone and medication abortion, the Minnesota Abortion Action Committee demonstrated their solidarity with the fight for abortion access nationwide. This spirit of solidarity in Minnesota has been consistent from the initial Dobbs decision and the overturning of Roe, when protesters in Minneapolis took to the streets by the thousands to defend reproductive rights, even if those rights were not under immediate attack in their state. The Minnesota Abortion Action Committee, as well as other reproductive justice forces, have translated that mass mobilization into campaigns for strengthening the legalization of abortion in Minnesota, creating protections for abortion providers, and terminating the state funding of predatory anti-abortion centers or “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”. It is a direct result of this organizing and mass protest that abortion rights are now stronger than ever in Minnesota. Even so, the Minnesota Abortion Action Committee continues to demand more of those in power— more clinics, more funding, more restrictions on institutions operated by the Christian Right to deny individuals information and decision making power about their pregnancies— because the stronger women’s and reproductive rights are in Minnesota, the more people in the Midwest can access reproductive healthcare.

It is grassroots efforts, just like Reproductive Justice Actions – Milwaukee’s and MN Abortion Action Committee, that has shown politicians across the country that the people want access to safe and legal abortion and they want it now! As history has shown us, we cannot trust politicians to protect our fight for bodily autonomy no matter what side they are on. They have failed us, they had 50 years to create solid laws around legal abortion and now we are left scrambling. It will take more than politicians to save us, we have to continue to show up in these streets and demand our voices be heard. It is the power of the people who advocated for our reproductive rights in the first place and we will do it again.

Reproductive Justice Action – Milwaukee is calling on the people and activists around the country to mobilize on June 24, the day that marks a year since the overturning of Roe. They are calling for a National Day of Action in the hopes of mobilizing women and others to continue the process of building a nationwide grassroots movement to restore national abortion access. The demands of this day of action include: reinstate Roe v. Wade and codify abortion access, federal funding for reproductive health and women's health, and public access to contraceptives and menstrual products for all.

Reproductive Justice Action – Milwaukee will be hosting their event on June 24th at 12:00pm at Dontre Hamilton/Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Join MN Abortion Action Committee at their event on June 24th at 1pm, located at Humphrey Circle in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

We’ve seen the effort it took to get Roe established, but Roe is the floor when it comes to the possibilities of what reproductive healthcare can be. We must build a better and more sustainable system for our communities. With a nationwide grassroots movement we can continue to fight back and achieve nationwide legal abortion access on demand!

#UnitedStates #RoeVWade #AbortionRights