While anti-abortion fanatics ate their donated Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and watched a Christian rock concert taking place on the steps of the Texas capitol on Monday, pro-choice activists got to work.
A group of girls sat on the lawn screen-printing free shirts and patches, pedi-cabbers gave people free rides, and local Austin businesses donated food and water to the hard-working activists opposing SBI1, the anti-abortion bill that Gov. Rick Perry is pushing.
Finally, at 8 PM, hundreds of protesters, adorned in orange, gathered to march the streets in protest.
They chanted, “Women must decide their fate, not the church, not the state” and “Keep it legal, keep it safe.”
The protesters made it down one of the busiest streets in Austin and back up to the capitol where the Christian rock concert was coming to an end.
“I’m here today to fight for my right to choose because I’ve had to choose before and I don’t want to lose that choice,” said Rachel.
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“As an activist, a Texan, and a human being, I’m here today to defend the right to choose what we do with our bodies,” echoed Donna Pittman.
There were many pro-choice men in the crowd. “I’m here to support women’s right to choose,” said Adam. “A woman should be able to choose to terminate a pregnancy when she doesn’t consent to using her body” for that purpose.
Alex Cruz was holding a sign that read: “You can’t politicize a womb.” Cruz said: “I’m here to oppose the passing of SB1, which undermines the rights and efficacy of Planned Parenthood, especially in regards to abortion, which I think is an unalienable right for women.”
Johanna Kraus-Darden took the long view. “We have evolved as humans to understand that there is power in science, there is power in conceptualizing what is good for ourselves,” she said. Our policy, she added, “no longer needs to be led by tradition.”
After the rally at the capitol, the demonstrators went inside to listen to the end of the hearings.