Bay Area citizens march for reproductive justice


Avery Josephs

Members of Black Women Organized for Political Action march side by side.

Joining together in support of reproductive rights, 24 non-profit organizations co-hosted a march in San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. The attendees lined up at Grove and Hyde Street and began marching at 11 am, eventually making their way down Market Street to Embarcadero Plaza. 

Young protester holds up a sign stating “Get your hands off my body” at ‘The March for Reproductive Justice.’ (Ila Rees)

Among many other reproductive rights protests, San Francisco’s march –  called “March for Our Right-Reproductive Justice” – was organized in opposition to certain efforts to restrict Roe v. Wade, a law put in place to protect a womens right to have an abortion in early pregnancy.

Though there were no speakers, attendees of the march brought megaphones, chanting empowering messages out to the crowd, such as “our bodies, our rights, we won’t give up without a fight.” Aiming to achieve complete reproductive rights, march attendees protested restrictions on abortions such as the “Heartbeat Act,” established in Texas on Sept. 1, 2021, which bans abortions after cardiac activity is detected. 

“The government and no one, regardless of their religion or their beliefs, should be telling women what to do with their bodies, and especially putting it into law, ” said Sarah Andary, co-founder and advisor of Women’s March San Francisco (WMSF). 

As the leader of the non-profit organization, Andary feels that community-based projects are crucial in projecting the voices of others. Their volunteer-run projects included a “Women Workers Rising” march, a “Rise up with Asians” march, and an event for Women’s Equality Day, among many more. 

“Women’s March San Francisco truly exists to be a community hub, so a lot of what we do is amplifying more of the work that our community does,” Andary said.

Protestors marching down Market Street, making a statement on their way to Embarcadero Plaza. (Avery Josephs)

Individuals such as Ang Swafford, a student at the University of California, Berkeley and a member of the Revolution Club, attended the march to spread the message of their communist club. Swafford believes that reproductive justice is a prevalent issue, and he useshis voice to attract the attention of politicians in hopes that they will rethink anti-abortion laws. 

“Until recently when women got the right to vote, we were just expected to sit back and be quiet about issues, expected to just sit and let things happen and to hold our tongues, and now we’re past that. We’ve been past that for a while and I don’t think that they can expect people to just sit in silence anymore,” Swafford said.

Swafford hopes to show that the fight for reproductive justice isn’t over, and the goal of  achieving reproductive autonomy will not come easily.