Geneviève Gimp of SDS speaking to the crowd. (Fight! News/Staff)
Denver, CO – A group of 25 community members and students from the Auraria campus gathered at the César E. Chávez Memorial Building, July 7, in front of Senator Michael Bennet’s office. The protesters demanded that Bennet use his position in the US Senate to advocate for the passage of a nationwide law that would guarantee abortion rights in all 50 states.
Speakers chanted “My body, my choice” and “Not the church, not the state, they won’t decide our fate!” as Senator Bennet’s representatives tried to appease the crowd by promising that the senator would do “something”.
The July 7 action was called by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) on the Auraria campus and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) and took place amid a wave of nationwide protests in response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the legal precedent set in 1973 that for the past 49 years has prevented states from banning first- and second-trimester abortions.
“Because of this undemocratic decision, 28 states are likely to ban or criminalize abortion, leaving half the population of the United States without access to safe abortions,” said Katherine Draken, speaking on behalf of the FRSO . “It’s not just a violation of bodily autonomy, it’s depriving people of health care, putting their lives at risk.”
Speakers from the SDS and FRSO addressed the crowd, arguing for bodily autonomy for women and transgender people, as well as criticizing capitalism and for-profit health care, which they saw as contrary to these rights.
“It’s not even just about our right to access health care; it is about our right to participate in society,” said Lyzzi Hahn of SDS. “We categorically refuse to be bred like cattle to perpetuate this terrible system!
Other speakers denounced the Democratic Party’s response to the Supreme Court decision, seen by many as hypocritical.
Geneviève Gimp of SDS said: “I’m tired of seeing my rights suspended in front of me. “You want these rights? Vote for us so we can do nothing to protect you, so we can be performative activists for you, so we can play innocent while you suffer from our silence. What good has it ever done us?
Denver SDS and FRSO said they will continue to organize students and members of the working class to ensure everyone can access the health care they need and to ensure no one is denied the right to an abortion .