Several hundred people rallied in support of abortion rights at Los Angeles’ Mariachi Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 8, just a month before the nation’s midterm elections.
Elsewhere in the county, demonstrators gathered in Long Beach and Claremont.
The events were part of a national “Women’s Wave” day of action promoted by the Women’s March and other organizations, attempting to keep abortion rights in the spotlight as a pivotal campaign issue as Election Day draws near.
Back in June, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the nearly five-decade-old decision that guaranteed a person’s constitutional right to legal abortions. The ruling handed authority back to each state’s leadership to decide whether or not abortions are legal, limited or banned.
While Republicans nationwide have largely pushed inflation, the struggling economy and President Joe Biden’s performance as key campaign issues, many Democrats have rallied around the abortion rights debate, on the heels of the high court’s historic decision. Republicans aim to take the advantage in both the House and Senator, but pundits say momentum has shifted back and forth.
While many states have acted to limit or ban abortions, the right to a legal abortion is not currently at risk in California. The state Legislature has passed multiple bills affirming access and dollars for abortion; many cities and local entities have passed measures in support. Also, Proposition 1, on the ballot in November, would amend the state’s constitution to prohibit leaders from denying or interfering with state residents’ right to an abortion and the ability to purchase contraceptives.
In Los Angeles on Saturday, activist groups set up booths to sign up potential volunteers for election canvassing and other efforts.
Rep. Karen Bass, who is in the midst of an increasingly heated race against developer Rich Caruso for mayor of L.A., addressed the crowd. After a lively forum on Thursday, the candidates will debate again on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on NBC4 and Telemundo 52.
Also speaking at Saturday’s rally was Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles. L.A. City Councilwoman-elect Eunisses Hernandez, who unseated veteran Councilman Gil Cedillo in June in District 1, and Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, D-Los Angeles, were also on hand.
Meanwhile, about 200 people marched through Downtown Long Beach on Saturday, concluding with a rally on the steps of the gathered Gov. George Deukmejian Courthouse. Demonstrators carried signs bearing such slogans as “My reproductive health choices are no one’s business but mine” and “Roe Roe Roe your vote.”
In Washington, D.C., marchers gathered in Folger Park in the Capitol Hill area, then marched to the U.S. Capitol, the Washington Post reported.
Similar demonstrations were staged in other major cities, including New York and Denver.