My Experience at the Bans Off Our Bodies Rally


Ella Gincherman, Staff Writer/ Junior Editor

At the beginning of this month, a draft from the supreme court was leaked. It revealed the supreme court voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that made giving and receiving an abortion legal. Like many people around the country, I felt powerless, as though there was no way for me to fight back or protect the many lives negatively affected by this decision. Then, I learned about the upcoming protests that would be held  across the country fighting against this pro-life rhetoric, under the name Bans Off Our Bodies (primarily created by Planned Parenthood). I immediately knew I had to be in attendance at my local rally. 

My friends and I took the metro down to DC for the event. Needless to say, we were unsure what to expect. Personally, I was afraid that the protest would make me feel more hopeless than hopeful, and that it would simply be a display of all the struggles people are facing without any real ways to fight back against it. This worry remained the entire metro ride until one key moment that changed my entire outlook and set the stage for the incredible demonstration I was about to witness. As I exited the metro to the street, I immediately took notice of several young children walking towards the Washington Monument with their families, excitedly holding signs with pro-choice messages. Seeing young people there to support Roe v. Wade gave me hope that this fight would only continue and strengthen with future generations. 

Following that enlightening experience, we arrived at the Washington Monument to see tens of thousands of protesters standing on the lawn, all listening to the speakers discuss their reasoning for not only showing up but speaking up. However, outside the barricaded-off entrances, we were faced with many different groups of Pro-life protesters, holding up signs calling those who have gotten or have given an abortion “monsters”. This startled me, however I was not surprised; knowing what we were up against. We entered the lawn and were immediately surrounded by the vibrant colors of many different posters held up proudly above people’s heads. After taking in the scene, our eyes were drawn to center stage where the rally was about to begin. 

From beginning to end, I was truly captivated by each and every speaker. Firstly, seeing politicians discuss their own experiences getting abortions and the actions they were taking to protect that right for others, gave me faith that a political system still exists for the people. In addition, several religious group leaders came up to the mic, breaking my pre-conceived notion that many religions are against abortion. Two brave women followed by discussing the positive impact of their choice to have an abortion, and why they felt others deserved that same right to choose. The rally surprised me. What I thought would be a terrifying display of the ways communities were hurting as a result of this decision, ultimately was an inspiring call to action; prompting me to recognize my power as an individual in this fight. 

Following the rally, we were sent off to the streets with a new positive outlook and belief in our ability to create change. What once terrified me, walking past the aggressive pro-life counter-protesters, now didn’t even phase me; I was ready to march. Standing alongside thousands of other protesters about to begin our march to the Supreme Court, I felt a sense of power in my actions, realizing that just maybe, they could create real change. Everything happened quickly the drum line echoed dramatically off the surrounding buildings as we began to move. We began chanting lines such as “MY BODY MY CHOICE” and “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE”, the nearby pedestrians couldn’t help but take notice. As we marched up the mall, thousands of people all fighting for the same cause, it allowed me to take in not only all that we were fighting for, but the importance of our actions. While the march ended at the Supreme Court, our fight did not. 

The Bans Off Our Bodies protest and rally is by no means the end of our struggle for safe and equal access to abortion. However, seeing the passion in people’s eyes and the effort they were willing to give in protecting a person’s right to choose, showed me that we were not going down without a fight.