On June 12, two separate protests took place in the Texas cities of Dallas and Fort Worth in response to Governor Greg Abbot signing the most restrictive abortion law in the country in early May. Both actions also emphasized broader needs and demands.
Dallas and Fort Worth are often considered to have very different cultures, with Fort Worth being seen as more conservative, but both were brought together by shared resistance to oppression. Protesters seeking women’s rights and liberation cut through the divides imposed on workers by the ruling class. Women spoke out about their experiences calling for repealing the law and destigmatizing abortion.
In Dallas, protesters of all genders displayed their solidarity with the women’s struggle on signs and banners. Demands included, “Free abortion on demand” and “End the war on women’s rights.” Protesters chanted “We are not your property” and “We won’t go back, we will fight back!” Some came from as far as Louisiana to stand in solidarity.
In Fort Worth, a crowd of over 50 people gathered. Women spoke openly and bravely about their experiences with abortion, sexual assault, discrimination and gender-related violence.
The law just passed in Texas criminalizes abortion at six weeks. It allows any member of the public to bring lawsuits against anyone involved in the abortion process, from medical professionals to friends and acquaintances who drive someone seeking an abortion to the clinic. Protesters described feeling like their existence is being penalized, but strongly renewed their commitment to fight.
“I feel like they are coming after us with everything they have, so they can make us criminals,” said Stephanie, a protester in Fort Worth. She was one of many women to share her experiences and disgust with the new law. “I’m not okay with that, I’ll never be okay with that.”
Protesters at both actions called out the hypocrisy and false pretenses of “protecting life.” The intent of this new law is to police women’s healthcare, speakers explained, and has less to do with protecting life than controlling healthcare for women, as well as other people who need access to abortion such as trans men and some gender-nonconforming people.
Melinda, another speaker at the Fort Worth protest, explained why abortion is necessary: “Access to safe abortions is a right, and banning and restricting them isn’t for the life of the fetus. It’s a means to put us back in our place as caregivers, a way to control women and oppress us further.”
Organizers with the Party for Socialism and Liberation spoke about the urgent need to fight, not only this new law, but all laws that subjugate women. PSL member Dominique Jones addressed the crowd in Fort Worth, affirming the Party for Socialism and Liberation’s commitment to women’s liberation: “This is only the beginning, not the end of the fight and struggle!”
Feature image: PSL contingent at Dallas action. Liberation photo