Protecting reproductive rights is the number one goal of thousands of people across South Florida who rallied over the weekend.

Hundreds gathered Oct. 2 in West Palm Beach to call attention to renewed efforts aimed at restricting and repealing Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing a woman’s right to choose to end her pregnancy.

“I was so thrilled to hear that LGBTQ people were included here today,” Julie Seaver, executive director of Compass, told SFGN. “I thought I was gonna be the only one. Clearly the younger generations are teaching us a thing or two.”

The community was represented by several people, including a lesbian and someone who earns a living as a sex worker.

“It’s important to our community because reproductive rights affect all of us. Queer, bisexual women, non-binary folks, transgender men, intersex folks, we call all get pregnant. We can all have babies. We should have the choice to have the baby, not have the baby, or raise our kids in a safe and healthy environment.”

The issue takes on fresh urgency as the Supreme Court starts its new session and will hear a case directly challenging Roe v. Wade. Also, the Florida Legislature is likely to consider bills restricting access to abortion similar to the new law in Texas. That law prohibits abortions after about six weeks into pregnancy, which is often before someone even knows they’re pregnant.

“Our right to personal freedoms, our destinies, are in jeopardy right now,” Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) told SFGN after the rally. “It’s going to take a public outcry in every legal way possible to stop this.” The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act which would provide federal protections, but the bill is stalled in the Senate.

This is designed to help gain momentum before Florida’s legislative session starts in January. “We need to not only bug the crap out of them, we need to show up in Tallahassee. It’s so important,” Seaver said.

More than 40 organizations and grassroots groups worked together and staged the event. Many women in attendance have been fighting for reproductive rights since the 1960s, but there was also a large contingent of young people who have never known an America without Roe’s protections.

“This is an intergenerational event. The young people are so impressive, it’s giving me so much hope for the future,” Frankel said.


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