Hundreds of people gathered in Long Beach’s Victory Park on Sunday for a “Bigger Than Roe” rally, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Organized by LB/OC Women Rising, the event was one of over 200 anniversary rallies being held across the country.
The 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade came seven months after the Supreme Court overturned the decision, ending the constitutional right to abortion. The impacts of that decision have been felt nationwide, and the overall attitude at Sunday’s march was that more needs to be done to protect women’s rights.
“We’re pretty angry,” said Desiree Moshiri in response to the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision.
Moshiri is part of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at Cal State Fullerton, and she joined hundreds of women and allies as they marched to the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Downtown Long Beach, chanting and holding signs that read, “Equity now,” “No forced births,” and, “Her body, her choice.”
“It’s really chilling to see everyone get together and to feel the overwhelming support,” said Moshiri.
At the courthouse, speakers included attorney Gloria Allred, former Long Beach mayor and current U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia, Rep. Katie Porter and current Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, along with many other local politicians.
“This gathering, our movement, is about Roe v. Wade, and it is also bigger than Roe v. Wade,” Porter said. “Because we can’t just have naked freedoms, we need freedoms along with the policies that make it possible to live free and successful lives.”
While many states across the U.S. have cut all access to abortion care since the June decision, California has sought to improve abortion access. In September, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a package of 12 bills into law that aim to strengthen privacy safeguards for abortion providers and patients and fund procedures and travel costs for low-income individuals, establishing some of the strongest abortion protections in the country.
“Long Beach is bigger than Roe,” said Richardson. “We need to make sure that as we move forward we know that women belong, and that people of color and LGBTQ communities and all of us feel that our city recognizes them and sees them and will fight for each of you.”