San Antonio will be participating in a nationwide march to defend reproductive and abortion rights. The “Bans Off Our Bodies: Women’s March of South Texas” will start at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 2 in Milam Park.
The march will be one of over 600 marches happening across the nation on Saturday.
Women’s March South Texas and Planned Parenthood South Texas will be hosting the march with help from Urge, AVAW, Lilith Fund, Southwest Workers Union, Martinez Street Women’s Center, TOP, Indivisible and National Council of Jewish Women.
Tahira Mammen, a co-chair of Women’s March South Texas, said about 800 people had registered for the San Antonio march as of Sept. 27. She said 500 people was a more accurate number of participants to expect since normally not everyone who registers attends.
The Facebook event has gained popularity with over 1,000 people checking either “attending” or “interested” in the event’s post.
Mammen said the march will start at about noon and is estimated to end at around 2 p.m.
The mile-long route will start and end in Milam Park. Those marching will pass City Hall among other institutions.
“It’ll be led by strollers and wheelchairs so that they set the pace… so we can make it inclusive,” Mammen said on a phone call on Sept. 27. “There will be a rally at the end and people tabling from different organizations that believe in the cause.”
This will be the fifth march Women’s March South Texas hosts in San Antonio, Mammen said.
The most recent march was held last October after Ruth Bader Ginsberg had died and before the presidential election.
“So (there was) a lot of focus on the supreme court, which there’s a lot of focus on the supreme court again (as we are) trying to see what the courts will do about the abortion ban in Texas right now,” Mammen said.
She said it’s important for Texans to participate, especially following Senate Bill 8.
“We are in the center of the cause at hand,” Mammen said. “Abortion is being restricted; you could say ‘threatened’ but really it’s beyond threatened at this point. It’s actively restricted in the state of Texas. When we think about abortion justice and the people that need to stand up for it, Texans are central to that voice.”
The march advocates for legal rights to abortion. “It’s a justice issue,” Mammen said.
By marching, people are fighting for communities that will be most affected by SB8, like communities of color and people who don’t have the financial means to travel to other states for an abortion, she said.
“Young people are the future voices and hopefully current voters,” Mammen said. “This march and Women’s March, in general, is a great way to do that entry-level activism and see if you can find your niche for where volunteering and advocating for communities that need it.”
Those who plan to attend are encouraged to wear orange apparel.
According to the Facebook event page, orange represents the “fight for access to safe and legal abortions in Texas since the 2013 Wendy Davis’ thirteen-hour-long filibuster to block Senate Bill 5, a measure which included more restrictive abortion regulations for Texas.”
Women’s March San Antonio will have more updates.
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