MARCHing in September

Courtesy of USA Today

Throughout the dawn of Western civilization, women have been fighting for equality and bodily autonomy. These grievances often fell on deaf ears of privileged and powerful men, even in the “Land of the Free.” The 1920’s Progressive movement brought a breath of fresh air by allowing for change to manifest towards more liberal ideas both economically and culturally, which led to the 19th Amendment successfully passing in Congress. We saw further progress on the subject of women’s bodily autonomy when Roe vs. Wade passed in 1973; however, these liberties are coming under threat.

Texas recently passed an abortion bill in their state legislature. The law bans abortions after six weeks. Most women don’t realize they’re pregnant until after 4-7 weeks, making the anti-abortion law all the more restrictive. “When I looked at the diversity in that group of people, there were about 3-4 women and then a bunch of white men; I don’t even know if I saw one POC, which frustrates me since Houston has a huge Black population and Hispanic population,” Senior Anna LaMay stated when asked what her initial thoughts were on the bill. “They were gonna make anyone involved [in the abortion procedure] pay a fine of $10k…even the taxi driver. It…made it seem like they were targeting the lower class in that sense because those are the people who are generally gonna be the taxi drivers and the people who are going to be needing abortions.” Anna went on to say that “A lot of the people who argue that we should have the freedom not to get vaccinated, not to wear masks, are also the people who are like you should not have the freedom though to get an abortion. I feel like we’re almost not separating church and state.”

The list of states next in line for adopting a Texas-like abortion law includes Florida. “I feel like a large portion of the state would [support the bill],” replied Mrs.Rash, a teacher at Apopka High School when asked whether or not she felt like an abortion bill would pass in the State legislature. “It really depends on who chooses to vote, and unfortunately, those whose voices matter most on this issue believe their voice is better silent.” 

However, Florida’s anti-abortion stance in our state legislature isn’t new. “Republican lawmakers have filed 6-week abortion bans multiple times,” stated Anna Eskamani, a Florida House of Representatives member. “It never passes because of our collective efforts to fight back.” Florida Democrats and Republicans have been fighting back in forth on this controversial issue for a while; the fact that Republicans are in the majority in our statehouse shows how hard Florida Democrats are working against an abortion ban to pass in this state. “I have no doubt that some people who oppose abortion do so based on their religious values, but there are also those who wish to control a person’s reproductive rights and prevent women from experiencing bodily autonomy as their male counterparts do,” Eskamani explained. 

Most opponents of the Pro-choice movement don’t understand that all they are doing is banning safe abortions. If a woman wants an abortion and feels that’s the best option for her, she will do it one way or another. This bill has inspired nationwide Women’s Marches in each state. On October 2nd, a Women’s March is organizing at Lake Eola from 10 am-2 pm.