Youth look to elected officials to help fight for reproductive justice

May 16, 2022

Hutcherson called on elected officials to involve themselves on the issue.

“I plead to our elected officials, whether they are local, state, or national, please use your power and influence to help us. Our existence is being attacked and criminalized, and we must do something,” Hutcherson said. 

Many students gathered at Piedmont Park to join the rally. Students held signs they had made, sat together and talked before the speakers began and created a safe space where they were able to be heard. 

Freshman Eden Sharp went to the rally with some school friends. 

“I try to take action whenever the opportunity is present; so, when my friend Anna told me about the rally, I instantly said I would be there,” Sharp said. “The rally taught me that change is not brought with ease; it is a long fight that must be endured.”

The rally not only enabled students to voice their own opinions on abortion rights and the possibility of Roe v. Wade getting overturned, but it also allowed them to hear from other women spreading information about more things than just abortion rights and injustices. 

“I decided to attend the rally because I’m very passionate about reproductive healthcare and feminism in general,” Ball said. “I learned about different organizations in Atlanta aimed at helping the underserved achieve reproductive healthcare and representation.”

She feels the freedom of our country and everything we stand for is represented by the injustices happening in our world, and how we as people decide to handle them. Hutcherson cited statistics showing 70% support for Roe v. Wade, according to Pew Research. 

“For over 30 years, support for Roe v. Wade has never dropped below 50%,” Hutcherson said. “By removing abortion rights, you are acting against the will of the people. The United States of America is supposed to be a free, promising place where one can pursue their dreams. If you truly believed in the statement ‘Liberty and Justice for all,’ then you would not be doing this.” 

Jackson told the crowd about the different resources offered at FWHC. 

“Every part of our humanity is at stake when policymakers try to intervene in our ability to make choices for our own lives,” Jackson said. “At FWHC, we’ve been providing abortion care since 1976; so, shortly after the Roe decision was originally heard in the court, we opened up and started providing care, but we didn’t stop at that. We offer transgender health services and hormone therapy, we offer contraceptive services for people who are trying to prevent pregnancy, fertility and insemination services for people, but have been turned away because of the identities that they hold.” 

Sharp spoke about how everyone could be a part of change.

“The rally impacted my thoughts on how a singular person can not make a difference. Hearing others speak out on a decision that affects not just me, but every person in the U.S, felt comforting that change can be brought, even when things feel out of your control,” Sharp said. “To be able to stand with my friends and classmates [while] speaking out about an issue that is important and impactful, really meant a lot.”

 Ikor said many other topics that go hand-in-hand with abortion and reproductive rights.

“This draft demonstrates an extreme view on the liberties granted under the 14th Amendment, most notably the opinion explicitly states its intended implications for contraception access and marriage rights,” Ikor said. “To emphasize, these attacks on abortion access do not exist in a bubble, as many of us are aware there have been numerous anti-LGBTQ, particularly anti-transgender bills that have been introduced across the country and in Georgia.”

Ball said the rally allowed her to have a physical outlet to express her feelings on the issue, rather than just being left alone with her thoughts. 

“It was incredibly meaningful for me to be able to attend the rally, showing my support physically meant a lot to me, especially after most of my interaction in that political sphere was through the internet,” Ball said.

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