The March for Women’s Lives, the largest march in US history, made front-page headlines and spectacular pictures worldwide. Major newspapers ran front-page stories on the march in the US, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, the Boston Globe, and many more. Across the world, major newspapers in France, Spain, Lebanon, South Africa, England, India, Canada, Poland, Mexico, and more. The March sounded the alarm that women’s rights and lives are endangered by the Global Gag Rule, the conversion of family planning aid to abstinence-only programs, and the stacking of the federal courts with right-wing judges.
“How sweet it is. At last more than one million strong, we put the issue of women’s rights and lives back on the front pages where it belongs,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, which was one of the core organizing groups for the March. Smeal has been in the leadership of every reproductive rights march in Washington, DC since 1975, first through her leadership in the National Organization for Women (NOW) and now as president of the Feminist Majority.
“We are determined to stop the war on women and to make women’s rights another ‘third rail’ of politics, like Social Security,” Smeal shouted from the stage at the rally after the March.
Young women and men comprised more than one-half of the 1,150,000 marchers, putting to rest once and for all the myth that young people do not support women’s right to a safe, legal abortion and a full range of reproductive health services. Marchers from more than 350 campuses – covering a wide range of public and private, two and four year colleges – particpated as part of the student-run Feminist Majority Leadership Alliances and affiliated pro-choice student groups.
The Feminist Majority’s celebrity delegation was organized by actors Amy Brenneman, Camryn Manheim, and Kathy Najimy, which led to an outpouring of support from actors and artists. Several major speakers at the rally wore Feminist Majority t-shirts, including Ashley Judd, who wore a “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like” t-shirts, and Tyne Daly, who wore a radical raspberry “Feminist Majority” t-shirt. Actors LisaGay Hamilton and Najimy and musicians Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow taped radio advertisements and public service announcements used to promote the March and women’s reproductive rights.
The Feminist Majority delegation was also filled by healthcare workers from independent women’s health clinics – one-half of the nation’s abortion providers – for whom the Feminist Majority Foundation provides security support through its National Clinic Access Project.
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WISH YOU WERE THERE? Check out pictures from the March and the rallies