Fight for rights: Pro-choice groups protest over weekend

Chicago for Abortion Rights hosted a march for abortion rights on March 5 to celebrate International Women’s Day outside DePaul’s Quad.

The march began at the LGBTQ Center at 3656 N. Halsted St. at noon. The march ended at DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus in front of the quad.

Linda Loew, activist and founding member of Chicago for Abortion Rights, an activism group geared towards fighting for abortion rights, said the march was co-hosted by Chicago Democratic Socialists for America, Chicago NOW, Clinic Vest Project, CodePINK Chicago, Freedom Road Socialist Organization Chicago, Gay Liberation Network, Illinois Choice Action Team and Illinois Single Payer Coalition. The groups came together to continue the momentum that was started in October to advocate the need for abortion in Chicago for those who may become pregnant.

“We really are all in this together,” Loew said. “The attack on one set of rights is linked to the attack on another set of rights. The inability of women and others who can become pregnant — which has become a big issue — will affect families, will affect livelihoods and will cause people to die.”

Steve Bohan, a member of Illinois Single Payer Coalition, said he has witnessed a lot of people lacking healthcare when they need it, hence why he still fights for abortion rights.

“Abortion rights are under attack throughout the country and I want to stand up for people who need access to health care,” Bohan said. “A lot of my friends have really struggled with health care issues in general and often felt like they had no real choices. It’s like what one of the chants was: ‘Abortion is health care and health care is a right.’”

Similarly, Meredith Miklasz, a member of the Party of Socialism and Liberation, said the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade is an issue everyone should be standing up against.

“We believe that abortion is health care and health care is a right and everyone deserves safe and legal abortions,” Miklasz said.

The protest was in large part to add onoss of the Women’s Health Protection Act in the Senate this week. It lost 46-48. Obviously trigger bans across the country are going into effect this June and the fate of Roe v. Wade — which a lot of people didn’t even know didn’t actually legalize abortion, it just legalized the privacy to have an abortion. That’s up in the air more than ever. Our party firmly believes that we should be out here in the streets getting as much momentum around this movement as possible.”

Loew emphasized the importance of the issue and how it impacts more than just the person who becomes pregnant.

“Carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term has an impact on more than just the person who doesn’t want to have the child at that time,” Loew said. “I know a lot of people who were successful in getting abortions who went on to have entire families when the time was right. We’re talking about an impact on children, we’re talking about an impact on males who would never get pregnant and we’re talking about a huge part of the population having the right to control their lives and all of the economic, psychological, social and racial dimensions that come with that.”

Miklasz said abortion rights apply to everyone in the life of the person who becomes or could become pregnant.

“Abortion is not just an issue for women,” Miklasz said. “It’s an issue for nonbinary people, it’s an issue for trans men and it’s also an issue for all of our families, friends, loved ones, partners and people that care about us and want us to be happy and healthy.”

The groups will be marching again on Tuesday, March 8 at 2 p.m on State Street near the DePaul Center.