Hundreds of people take part in Madison’s march for abortion rights


Hundreds of people gathered outside the Library Mall in Madison on Saturday, participating in the national Bans Off Our Bodies event to protest the limits of abortion.

The event kicked off at 1 p.m. with music from Forward! Marching band as protesters gathered.

The crowd marched from the Library Mall to the State Capitol. Participants chanted: “Abortion rights are under attack, what are we doing, stand up against” and “my body, my choice”.

The Madison Bans Off Our Bodies Walk was co-sponsored by Indivisible Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Madison BIPOC Coalition; However, on Friday, the UW-Madison BIPOC coalition announced its withdrawal from the event.

“We are officially canceling our co-sponsorship and endorsement of this event because major organizers have repeatedly failed to recognize their privilege, to include all people with uteri, and to understand that BIPOC, queer, disabled and / or low-income do not owe their support to middle-class cis-gender white women, nor work in a movement that white women have co-opted, ”the organization said in a statement. declaration.

A smaller group of American Democratic Socialists from the Madison area also marched to protest the limits on abortion. Their songs included: “Abortion is a human right, not just for the cis and the whites.

Tensions have arisen between members of the two groups over concerns raised by the UW-Madison BIPOC coalition. Madison Area Democratic Socialists of America has gradually taken over the event, frustrating some organizers with Bans Off Our Bodies. But many participants did not notice the difference between the two groups and supported the calls to action for the right to abortion and the need for diversity in the movement.

A speaker with Madison DSA continued to rally the participants saying, “We are not here to fight. We are here to fight for each other.”

Hayley Archer is co-chair of the DSA Feminist Task Force. Archer said the reproductive rights movement needs to be larger and include more voices.

“All movement is made of people, and people are made up of a myriad of ideas about what’s going on. People are very scared today. But we are here because the organizers of today’s march. hui, we didn’t really feel like they were paying attention or space for blacks and browns… for trans people, ”said Archer.“ We didn’t want to miss that, we weren’t going to not withdraw. So we went in and jumped at the head of the march with banners. “

A group of pro-life activists were present at the Capitol. Attendees included people from Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, according to WISC-TV / Channel3000. The group sang the national anthem and held signs with graphic images.

Last month, the Texas Legislature passed a controversial new law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The Federal Supreme Court has voted against blocking the Texas law, which some say indicates how the court would rule if it reconsidered Roe v. Wade.

The United States Supreme Court also made arguments for Dec. 1 in a Mississippi lawsuit that challenges Roe v. Wade. In Wisconsin, Roe v. Wade is the only thing in place that is preventing the state from reverting to an 1849 law that criminalizes abortion statewide.

Archer said Madison DSA was working on a campaign to abolish the 19th century law.

“We have, in this house, a law in the books of 1849 that makes abortion a felony. And if Roe falls, it will be a felony from day one,” said a speaker from Madison Area Democratic Socialists of America . “And we say no way.”

Editor’s Note: Laurel White and Angela Major contributed reporting for this story.

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