October 2 San Jose March for Reproductive Rights

Defending Reproductive Rights

Compelled by the call to defend women’s reproductive rights and voice opposition against a recent barrage of abortion restrictions, AAUW Morgan Hill branch members, along with AAUW Los Gatos-Saratoga, AAUW San Jose, and SURJ South County, joined the Women’s March San Jose on October 2, 2021.

Why the March?

Abortion rights have been constantly under attack despite the 1973 Roe vs. Wade court decision protecting them. The latest restrictive anti-abortion laws in Texas and Mississippi, as well as the Supreme Court’s refusal to defend this constitutional right catalyzed this latest round of protests. The march was scheduled right before the October 4 reconvening of the US Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear arguments in the Mississippi Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case on December 1.

San Jose Branch Members

Ruling on the constitutionality of state abortion bans could potentially overturn the Roe vWade decision, and it is imperative to speak out. The march also supported H.R. 3755, the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), the federal legislation that would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law, applicable in all 50 states.

The San Jose Event

Multi-generational, diverse individuals and members from stellar organizations marched alongside our branch members, carrying impactful signs that voiced their dissatisfaction and concerns.

Gilroy City Council Member Rebeca Armendariz welcomed everyone, followed by a land acknowledgement, and blessing by Corinna Herrera-Loera. Emcees Hayward City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tempore Aisha Wahab introduced exemplary speakers Sera Fernando Chief Diversity Officer for Silicon Valley Pride and Senior Management Analyst for the Santa Clara Office of LGBTQ Affairs, Kolieka Seigle, President National Organization for Women California (2018-2021), Sophia Yen MD, Pandia Health, Lupe Rodriguez, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, and Michele Dauber JD, Enough is Enough Voter Project. Their inspiring speeches moved, motivated, and urged us to keep up the momentum. Our work is far from over.

National AAUW & What We Should Do Next

Nationally, AAUW joined more than 150 partners, led by key reproductive justice organizations, to mobilize around 650 events across the country. Members marched in local events, hosted, and spoke at in-person rallies, participated virtually, communicated information online, and contacted elected officials.

It is crucial to stay energized in the weeks ahead and defend the right to bodily autonomy and abortion care. Here is what AAUW National proposes:

  • Contact your elected officials:Direct constituent interactions influence lawmakers’ decisions more than other advocacy strategies.
  • Hold a virtual meeting locally and remind everyone to urge members of Congress to support the Women’s Health Protection Act! So far it has passed the House and has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 139.
  • More information: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3755
  • Write a letter to the editor: A letter to the editor or an op-ed energizes branch members promotes AAUW visibility in the community, while disseminating information about important issues.
  • Build community: Educating friends and family and enlisting their support is a valuable contribution. Have conversations with loved ones or host a community forum to discuss the importance of defending reproductive health and freedom for all.

What AAUW Proposes

Read where AAUW stands on reproductive rights

Let’s do our part in protecting women’s rights, AAUW Morgan Hill!

By Suman Ganapathy, AAUW MH President-elect

Return to Nov/Dec 2021 Newsletter