The Emergency Action for Women’s Lives, hosted by the National Organization for Women, drew thousands of women, men, and children to Washington DC this weekend in support of abortion rights (see for yourself!). The Feminist Majority participated in the action, with over 40 Feminist Majority Leadership Alliances represented. The action included a highly successful rally, where representatives from such diverse organizations as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the National Abortion Federation, and the National Black Women’s Health Project spoke to an enthusiastic crowd about the importance of abortion access, the horrors already faced by women around the world under the global gag rule and parental consent, and the failure of anti-abortion politicians to provide adequate policies for women and children. Speakers included Patricia Ireland of NOW, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and abortion provider Dr. James Pendergraft. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal riled the crowd to their feet with a powerful speech about the importance of saving Roe v. Wade, and about our most promising strategy for doing so: “Filibuster! Filibuster! Filibuster!” Smeal, backed by the cheering crowd, assured President George W. Bush that “we will not be the generation who both won and lost Roe v. Wade.”
Action participants then marched in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and down to the mall, chanting along the way: “Not the church, not the state, Women must decide their fate!” and “2-4-6-8 watch out who he nominates!” The event ended on the mall with a reproductive health fair, where participating organizations like Advocates for Youth and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health provided educational materials and action opportunities to activists.