‘This might occur within the UK’: London protesters on Texas’ abortion ban

Defiant pro-choice demonstrators spoke of the restrictive regulation’s attainable affect exterior of the US, regardless of counter protesters attempting to intimidate and silence them

Final week (September 2), the US Supreme Court docket introduced that it could not be blocking Texas’ ‘heartbeat invoice’, which bans abortion within the state after six weeks of being pregnant – when a foetal heartbeat is detected – even within the instances of rape and incest. The choice signifies that Texas now has the strictest abortion regulation within the US, and some of the restrictive on the earth.

In addition to banning abortion so early that many ladies gained’t even know they’re pregnant, the invoice empowers residents to assert a $10,000 bounty in the event that they efficiently sue anybody they consider is procuring or serving to somebody procure an abortion. Whistleblower websites and subreddits have already been set as much as encourage folks to snitch on these they assume are breaking the regulation. In an organised act of resistance, activists are spamming these platforms with pretend ideas (and Shrek porn) to cease folks sharing actual data.

Within the week because the ban got here into impact, pro-choice activists the world over have taken to the streets to protest the reversal of girls’s autonomy over their our bodies. On Saturday (September 4), a small however highly effective crowd of pro-choicers in London remained defiant towards an counter protest, which noticed anti-abortion demonstrators try and intimidate, disgrace, and drown out their speeches.

The 2 crowds painted a starkly completely different image. Abortion supporters had been a sea of pink, with some carrying fluorescent vests emblazoned with the phrases ‘pro-choice’, whereas others carried indicators that learn, ‘My physique, my alternative’, ‘Finish the harassment of girls’, and ‘We stand with Texan ladies’. Anti-abortion demonstrators had been largely wearing darkish colors, as they marched in a circle across the pro-choice crowd, holding up black and orange indicators that learn, ‘Be their voice’, ‘Pray to finish abortion’, and ‘BLM: Each Lives Matter’. Nuns and clergymen reportedly joined the counter demonstration, whereas others carried non secular paraphernalia.

Separated from the anti-abortion protesters by the police, pro-choice activists led chants and songs, whereas healthcare employees and girls who’ve had abortions spoke in regards to the shock and hazard of Texas’ ban.

“There’s a typical notion that what occurred within the US can by no means occur over right here,” NHS physician Sonia Adesara informed the attentive crowd. “That’s actually misguided – the appropriate wing, misogynistic insurance policies that we’ve seen in Texas are very a lot current on this nation. We’re right here at this time not simply to defend our rights, however to demand extra. We have to make it loud and clear that our rights are non-negotiable – it’s our our bodies, our alternative.”

Beneath, Dazed speaks to pro-choice protesters in regards to the ban, the ability of resistance towards it, and the way it would possibly affect lawmakers within the UK.


“I heard that the anti-choice folks had been out protesting, so I wished to return right here to indicate that I’m towards what they’re doing and what they stand for. They’re attempting to regulate ladies, and the insurance policies they’re advocating for – the criminalisation of abortion – will harm (and endanger) ladies. I felt it was my obligation as a physician to be out right here to indicate that the healthcare occupation is towards what they’re calling for. Nearly all of healthcare employees are pro-abortion as a result of we all know that it’s worthwhile to have secure, free, and authorized abortion – with out that, ladies’s well being and their lives are put in danger.

Lately, we’ve seen many nations – not simply the US – introduce abortion restrictions. What we’ve seen taking place within the US exhibits us how shortly issues we take as a right – reproductive rights, ladies’s rights – might be reversed. Even on this nation, there’s politicians who’re in energy proper now who need to prohibit abortion entry. We should be cautious – we will’t change into complacent. Within the US in only a few years, Roe v Wade – one thing we thought was enshrined within the structure – has been reversed. In Europe, we’ve additionally seen abortion rights being reversed in a short time – this might occur within the UK.”


“What’s taking place in Texas is repulsive. As ladies we’ve the appropriate to our personal our bodies, and the truth that ladies who’re over six weeks pregnant can’t have an abortion is terrible. Abortion is healthcare; it’s our our bodies, our alternative. Absolutely it’s a fundamental human proper that you just’re entitled to regulate your personal physique.”


“I’m right here at this time as a result of anti-abortion legal guidelines are nearly all the time a direct assault on ladies who’re of decrease financial and social lessons, as a result of wealthier ladies in Texas will nonetheless be capable to journey to different states and get abortions. The individuals who will actually be affected by the regulation are ladies of color as a result of they are typically of decrease social lessons.”


“I really feel actually strongly that the modified legal guidelines in Texas have given us a get up name, simply because the state of affairs in Northern Eire has, the place the appropriate for alternative solely got here a couple of 12 months in the past – and girls there nonetheless can’t entry providers, in order that they nonetheless don’t have any rights. Ladies’s our bodies are their very own and particularly as much as 12 weeks, typically even 24 weeks in particular conditions. I’m a girl of color from a conservative non secular background, however I do know full properly how a lot males and the misuse of non secular regulation have manipulated ladies to maintain youngsters to their very own detriment typically. I’m campaigning for selections. I might by no means inform a girl what to do together with her physique or her unborn child. It’s a troublesome choice for any girl to make, and we have to protect the selection.

Six weeks is nothing – it signifies that there’s no alternative in Texas. You may not even know you’re pregnant. It’s a manipulative means for ‘pro-lifers’ to cease abortions within the southern conservative states within the US, and that’s one thing that would set the bar backwards right here.”

“I’m campaigning for selections. I might by no means inform a girl what to do together with her physique or her unborn child” – Marie

LILY, 28

“I’m right here as a result of I’m the fundraising chair of (the pro-choice marketing campaign group) Abortion Rights. I received concerned with Abortion Rights by way of a theatre present, All Aboard at Termination Station, which is a comedy cabaret about my private expertise of abortion. I got here to their protest in 2019, and I used to be welcomed with open arms after my second abortion, which I’d solely had two weeks previous to being on the protest.

What’s taking place in Texas is disgusting; it’s a reminder that, as ladies, we will’t be complacent about our security over right here within the UK. We’re dwelling underneath a Tory authorities, a lot of whom’s politicians are actively searching for to cut back ladies’s proper to abortion. We have to present solidarity. It’s terrifying that, even after Biden’s win over Trump, we’re nonetheless having to take care of this.”


“I’m right here to protest an ethical outrage. The persevering with prison standing of abortion within the UK, and the relentless assaults on reproductive freedom around the globe are morally indefensible. The concept any particular person might be compelled to hold a being pregnant or give delivery towards their will is repugnant and shouldn’t be tolerated in a free society.

What’s occurred in Texas has despatched shockwaves rippling around the globe as a result of the US nonetheless units the cultural narrative for what is suitable in nominally free, democratic societies. What’s taking place in Texas might occur right here. We consider that we’re secure within the UK from this type of factor, however I believe over the approaching a long time we’ll see growing actions towards ladies and queer folks’s proper to fundamental bodily self-determination and fundamental reproductive freedom, partly as a result of delivery charges are falling across the western world.”

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