On International Safe Abortion Day, Reproaction joined Population Connection Action Fund, Advocates for Youth, and Physicians for Reproductive Health outside the White House. We gathered, equipped with pots and pans, to send the message loud and clear: we demand access to safe and legal abortion here and around the world!
The rally was a part of a worldwide call to action, and was put together to reframe abortion access as a fundamental human right that is integral to reaching social, economic, and reproductive justice. According to Guttmacher, 25% of pregnancies ended in abortion worldwide in 2010–2014. With this in mind, partner events everywhere from Sri Lanka to Uganda made a public call for access to safe abortion through rallies, educational events, and online actions.
In D.C. we held a Cacerolazo, a traditional South American form of protest that consists of people banging together pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils in order to call attention to an issue. Its origins stem from Chile in the 1970s, when protesters came together to take action against the Chilean government and its administration’s role in a food shortage. Holding a Cacerolazo was symbolic, as many South American countries have made abortion illegal and have criminalized the procedure. It is estimated that 97 percent of women in South America and the Caribbean live in countries where abortion is restricted or banned. The latest data from 2014 shows that an estimated 10 percent of the maternal deaths in South America are the result of unsafe abortions.
Tanisha Humphrey, Deputy Field Director at Population Connection, kicked off the rally by gathering the group of thirty activists in a circle. She galvanized participants with chants that called out the Trump administration’s role in further criminalizing and limiting access to abortion. With high spirits, we moved in front of the White House to take a public stance on the need for increased abortion access in the United States and around the world. Creating a long row, we banged our pots and pans, demanding the attention of nearby tourists and local residents.
We asked, “What do we want?”
“When do we want it?”
“Now!”, we shouted back.
The Reproaction team was proud to stand with our allies in support for safe and accessible abortion. We are committed to continuing this fight and will continue the work to destigmatize and expand access to abortion in our communities and abroad.
To learn more about the campaign and the other actions that happened around the world, checkout the hashtag #IResistWePersist.