Pieces of legislation such as the Heartbeat Bill and the Texas Abortion Ban have triggered outrage across the nation.
On Saturday, Oct. 2, America reacted, as thousands of protestors around the United States gathered to show their support for women’s right to choose. Starting with women’s rights groups in Texas, the movement took America by storm, as over 600 protests were held in different parts of the United States on the same day.
In Haddon Heights, New Jersey, a local march started with the simple ambition and passion of 2018 Rowan alumna Madison Lord.
“You can surprise yourself with how much your voice as one person will influence others around you to also speak up,” Lord said. “When I thought about hosting the march, I pictured maybe 10 people showing up. I thought that might have meant I failed, but to those few people my support could mean a lot, and it would be worth doing. The day of the march we had 240 RSVPs. I would have never imagined I could bring that many people together over something I cared about.”
To Lord, the march was “a way of showing local support and that you don’t have to go to a major city to find people who care strongly about making change.”
Anushree Chauhan, a freshman political science student at Rowan, found out about the protest through the College Democrats at Rowan.
“It’s inspiring to see the community come together on such an important issue,” Chauhan said.
She hopes to spread the message to more Rowan students.
“It is important to understand what equality means to you and how you wish to share that in your community. Conversations to understand social issues are a great way to understand how your peers feel and gain insight,” Chauhan said.
Anna Bray is a senior political science major, and the president of the College Democrats at Rowan. Bray helped with the march by marketing it to Rowan students as well as organizing a carpool.
Bray emphasizes that “women’s bodily autonomy is not a guarantee until Roe v. Wade is codified into law.”
“It is critical,” she urges, that “we re-elect Governor Murphy this November and [that] New Jersey passes the Reproductive Freedom Act.”
Freshman Vincent Giasullo stressed that “more women and men should start to demonstrate against this piece of legislation that can harm women.”
According to Giasullo, he attended the march to support women who’ve been outraged against this legislation.
Hafiza Kazi is a Rowan alumna from the class of 2020 who also attended the march. For her, this march meant “fighting for equality for women especially as a first generation American where my own mother does not have equality in their home country based on gender.”
Kazi had a message to relay to students of Rowan.
“You have a seat at the table. If they don’t make room, make room,” Kazi said. “You are valid and don’t let anyone bring you down on the basis of sex.”
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