Nationwide Actions Stand as One for Women's Rights

Texas contingent at march in Washington, DC, October 2, 2021

October 2 was a day of broad united action in the United States to affirm women's rights, especially their right to health care. Recent months have seen numerous actions, including pickets and strikes by health care workers, demanding safe working conditions for all, including increased staffing and COVID-19 protections, testing and sick days.

The October 2 actions focused on current attacks on abortion rights, established as a legal constitutional right through repeated and determined struggle which culminated with the1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. The date was chosen to signal both the Supreme Court (which reconvened October 4) and Congress (which is debating a bill putting the right to abortion into law) that women firmly reject these brutal attacks on their rights. In large numbers, hundreds of thousands nationwide, women stood up to demand their right to health care and their specific women's rights as the human beings responsible for giving birth and nurturing children. Many mothers and daughters participated as did people from all walks of life.

Actions took place in no less than 660 cities large and small. As the call for the actions put it, demonstrators were fighting "for our human rights" and that "we'll never let go of our vision of reproductive justice; for unfettered abortion access and everything we need to support and grow our families to thrive and live healthy lives." 

The Women's March organization was joined by 90 others in initiating the call for demonstrations. There were rallies, pickets, banner drops, virtual meetings, marches and other events in every state. One of the largest demonstrations was in Washington, DC and huge rallies were also held in Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and Los Angeles, California, just to name a few. Health care workers, the majority of them women, played a significant role.

Among the demands raised were to declare a recent Texas law unjust, illegal and an example of the dark reaction being imposed on the people. As signs put it, "Keep Your Laws Off My Body." The Texas law imposes an almost complete ban on abortions. It makes no exceptions for rape or incest and makes abortions illegal when a heartbeat can be detected -- at about six weeks, when many women do not even know they are pregnant. Providers have made clear that 85-90 per cent of abortions occur after six weeks.

A similar Mississippi law, which comes before the Supreme Court in December, makes abortions illegal after 15 weeks. Other states, especially in the South and Midwest have also limited abortion access. Current Supreme Court precedents, including Roe v. Wade and others since, prohibit states from banning abortion before the point fetuses can sustain life outside the womb, or about 24 to 28 weeks into a pregnancy.

The Texas and Mississippi laws are part of broad government attacks on women and children and their health care rights, including those against the many forced into detention camps at the border and elsewhere, unsafe conditions in schools, lack of child care and more. There is also concern that given the increasing government attacks on rights, the Supreme Court will overturn its previous rulings.

At the heart of the ongoing fight is the human right to health care for all, with meeting the needs of women and children central to providing that care. As the October 2  and many other actions show, women across the country are making clear that they are affirming their rights by making their claims on government to meet them. They are speaking out in their own name for their rights, as the many speakers and participants October 2, nurses on strike, and teachers rejecting unsafe schools, continue to do.


Seattle, WA

Bellingham, WA

Los Angeles, CA



Fargo, ND

Austin, TX

Houston, TX

Dallas, TX

St. Louis, MO

Chicago, IL

Woodstock, IL

Columbus, OH

Nashville, TN

Savannah. GA

Charlotte, NC

Acton, MA

North Hampton, MA

Albany, NY

New York City, NY

Washington, DC

Voice of Revolution is the newspaper of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization.

(Photos: Womens March, Stand Up Alaska, Nank H, Refuse Fascism, Indivisible Bellingham, Indivisible Massachusetts, Athiests United, devinx, pp Rocky mountion, IV Words, Rev. Angela W, cmc, M, Fraker, tinney-r, D. Adank, Clinic Vest Project, Janes Due Process, R. Steffen, N. Nique)

This article was published in

Volume 51 Number 10 - October 10, 2021

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