The Hudson County chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America hosted an abortion rights rally at Harborside in Jersey City last night, the first one in Hudson since the Supreme Court’s draft decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade leaked Monday night.
“Abort the court! Abortion is healthcare! Abortion is a human right, we will never stop the fight!”
These were just a few of the chants that were heard at Harborside, right outside of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez’s office, before the group of over 100 people marches to the Katyn Memorial.
“There are a lot of words to describe this week, right? Devastation, pain, anxiety, two words I don’t want to hear anyone leaving today’s action repeat are the words ‘shock’ or ‘surprise,'” said Amy Torres, the executive director of the New Jersey Immigrant Alliance as well as a Democratic committeewoman who spoke in her individual capacity.
“It should be no shock, it should be no surprise that the same arm of government that ruled that Black folks are 3/5 of a person. The same arm of government that was slow to act against miscegenation laws, against naturalization of citizenship, slow to affirm our civil rights, our voting rights, or immigration rights – slow to affirm our right to marry.”
She added that this issue can’t wait for another election cycle and that activists shouldn’t shouldn’t have waited this long, noting that many Democratic pledges during the 2020 election cycle have been broken.
While woman in New Jersey will still have the right to choose due to the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, 26 states are expected to ban or restrict abortions.
For that reason, many Democrats are calling to abolish the filibuster in order to codify Roe vs. Wade prior to the SCOTUS decision this summer.
Ashley Warren, a Hudson Pride Center Client Services Associate, called on Menendez to join in this effort, noting this decision impacts men just as much as it does women.
“This affects men too because if you are a man and you can’t provide for a child, why should a woman be forced to have one?,” She questioned.”
North New Jersey Democratic Socialists of America Treasurer Julia Tache said this is the time where the working class must come together if they want to have a future for all, continuing that this is “a fight for half this country’s bodily autonomy.”
“The subject is the sacrificing of half this country’s bodily autonomy at the alter of capitalism. What else will we sacrifice at the alter of capitalism? At the alter of quote unquote ‘state’s rights’ when we all know this is from a theocratic minority.”
Menendez previously came out as an ally in this fight in a Twitter thread on Tuesday.
“As we await the final decision, I want to reassure my constituents I will never stop fighting for women’s reproductive rights … If the Court can strip away rights that have been reaffirmed over and over for 50 years, then no precedent is sacred and this decision may just be the tip of the iceberg.”
In a subscriber exclusive, NJ Advance Media pointed out that Menendez voted against nominating Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court back in 2006 in his first Senate vote since he was not sure Alito was willing to say Roe vs. Wade is law.
Alito was the justice who wrote the draft opinion to potentially overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Other groups that helped organize the event included Build More Unity, Black Men United, and the Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement.