Oh, I guess this is why Walk for Life West Coast 2012 isn’t going to happen in or around Justin Herman Plaza this year. It’s because the West Coast Rally for Reproductive Rights will be there instead.
West Coast Rally for Reproductive Rights Commemorates Roe v. Wade and Celebrates San Francisco Truth-in-Advertising Legislation
- The 9th Annual Rally for Reproductive Justice takes place January 21st, 2012 at 11 am in Justin Herman Plaza
- The Rally commemorates Roe v. Wade, raises awareness about abortion access and celebrates San Francisco’s recent truth-in-advertising legislation for clinics
- Pro-choice banners are flying high on Market Street for the first time in San Francisco’s History
- The Rally features speakers, live music and will be family friendly, with facepainting and balloon artists, to welcome all who support women”
All the deets are below.
An offending banner on Market Street:
Click to expand
“San Francisco, January 10, 2012— San Francisco gears up for the West Coast Rally for Reproductive Justice, commemorating the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The rally will be held on January 21, 2012 at 11 am in Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco. As banners celebrating a woman’s right to choose fly high on Market Street, the rally will feature speakers from leading women’s rights organizations, like the Silver Ribbon Campaign, NOW, World Can’t Wait, Radical Women, Change.org, The Business of Being Born filmmakers and Slutwalk. Featured political speakers include State Senator Mark Leno and SF Board President David Chiu. The rally will have music by The Raging Grannies and Ziva Hadar. Women’s reproductive rights remain under attack, despite the strength of the Democrats in the Senate and under the Obama Administration’s leadership; Bay Area activists and women’s rights supporters are taking a stand. The rally will be held in the space where in years past, members of the pro-life organization Walk for Life gathered to protest a woman’s right to choose. This year, BACORR hosts an independent rally, free from interaction with the Walk for Life group.
The controversy surrounding the accessibility of Plan B, the morning after pill, is just the latest in a string of attacks on women’s rights. The FDA determined that the Teva Pharmaceutical Industries drug Plan B is safe to be sold without a prescription to women of all ages; however, in an unprecedented move, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overturned the FDA’s decision and blocked over-the-counter access to Plan B for girls under 17 years old. Secretary Sebelius’ decision was based on her concern that 11 year old girls will not understand how to use the drug. The limitations on this drug effectively leaves adolescents, victims of incest and rape in the lurch – subject to the whim of a precarious home environment. A victim is unable to independently carry out reproductive decisions because of a strictly political, not science-based, decision.
San Francisco is a leader in progressive legislation exemplified by a victory this past October. The Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance requires accurate advertising from crisis pregnancy centers and was passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in a 10-1 vote.
“We are gathering to celebrate our city’s progressive legislation, and the freedoms women have gained since Roe v. Wade,” says MonaLisa Wallace, President, San Francisco NOW. “But the recent attacks on Planned Parenthood and Plan B, as well as the state by state restrictions on abortion ignore science and the well being of women everywhere.”
“We are at a time in our history where women’s reproductive rights are coming under attack on every level, where the church, state, elected officials, and even our own doctors are having a say in what should be a woman’s control and autonomy over her reproductive life.” says MaryAnn Thomas, organizer, World Can’t Wait. “We stand in solidarity with women across the country who have seen their access to safe, respectful abortioncare disappear along with their access to affordable birth control.”
“BACORR partnered with Trust Women to put up pro-choice banners on Market Street,” said Somer Loen, organizer, BACORR. “I am proud to live in a city that supports women, and the banners are an urgent reminder for San Franciscans that reproductive freedom is an essential human right, currently under assault. Opponents of reproductive rights are creating a public health crisis with legislation like H.R. 358 that allows hospitals to refuse life-saving abortions to women. It’s time to stand together to respect women.”
The rally is being organized by the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR) and the California chapter of National Organization for Women (NOW). BACORR initially partnered in 2004 with Planned Parenthood to stand strong in defense of reproductive rights when Walk for Life first came to San Francisco. There was a broad-based response to their anti-woman presence in our city. In years past, the coalition has effectively countered their rally and march. It also evolved in its scope, tying together the demands of women nationally and internationally. BACORR stands firm in the belief that we must expand, not limit, access to healthcare and abortion care if women are to actualize their full potential. This is in conjunction with the United Nations determination that legal abortion is a human right and that lack of access to it is a violation of international human rights.
BACORR first formed in the late 1980s to defend Bay Area clinics from Operation Rescue, who were seeking to block clinic access to patrons and workers. BACORR was a rapid response team that protected the clinics from anti-abortion protesters and participated in clinic escorting and clinic defense. BACORR regrouped in 2004 to counter the Walk for Life and to stand strong in defense of reproductive justice. This year, BACORR supported efforts to pass the Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance, protested fundraisers for personhood amendment advocates and provided clinic defense to local clinics.
About CA NOW
California NOW was formed to take action to bring women into full participation in every aspect of American political, social and economic life and institutions. California NOW embodies and uses an intersectional analysis that enables each of us to recognize the fact that perceived group membership can make people vulnerable to various forms of bias and because we are simultaneously members of many groups our complex identities can shape the specific way we each experience that bias.”