Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Downtown Long Beach Saturday morning to call on government leaders to protect reproductive rights and access to abortion care.
The march in Long Beach took place alongside about 600 others that were planned in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and other parts of the country.
The nationwide protest took aim at a recently passed law in Texas that essentially bans abortions after about six weeks. Most women do not know they are pregnant at that time.
The state’s law has marked a new flashpoint in ongoing debates concerning abortion. The marches also took place days before the conservative-leaning Supreme Court is scheduled to reconvene. Among the cases they’re set to hear is a challenge to Roe v. Wade.
“We need legislation to protect this right because this is a human right, this is health care,” Emma Fixmer, a Long Beach resident and rallygoer, said.
Fixmer and hundreds of others chanted as they marched down Ocean Boulevard Saturday.
Molly Watson, deputy director for the California Donor Table fund, emceed the rally and led protesters on a march from the courthouse down Ocean Boulevard to Harvey Milk Park where city officials, including members of the city council and mayor Robert Garcia, spoke to the crowd.
“This is an attack on our reproductive justice,” Watson said as she spoke into a megaphone. “If something happens to our neighbors, we stand up and fight back.”
The rally also touched on the fatal shooting of Mona Rodriguez, an 18-year-old woman who was shot by a Long Beach Unified school safety officer on Monday. Watson asked for a moment of silence in recognition of Rodriguez, who is expected to be taken off life support soon. Her family has called for the state attorney general to criminally prosecute the school safety officer.
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