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Abortion rights supporters protest on July 4 rather than celebrate

As the nation celebrates the 4th of July and prepares for fire works and more festivities, tonight. Here in San Diego hundreds of abortion rights supporters protested instead of celebrating. KPBS News Reporter M.G. Perez has our story.

Hundreds of abortion rights supporters protested on the Fourth of July in San Diego instead of celebrating Monday afternoon.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) organized the rally and marched through Balboa Park. The event gave people a place to voice their anger at the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe V. Wade.

“All people are impacted when others' rights are stripped away,” said Sierra Tillman with the PSL San Diego chapter.

“Abortion rights, the attack on trans rights, police brutality and endless war, the root cause of all that is capitalism,” she said.

M.G. Perez
Abortion rights supporters display signs protesting the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Monday, in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, July 4, 2022.

Not all the protestors at the rally and march support socialism. They came with other beliefs and backgrounds. But they were united in demanding action and justice for women’s health care.

Judy Harrington of Kensington remembers a time before abortion health care was legalized in 1973. She told KPBS News, “It was a battle. It was marches in Washington. It was on the streets. It was constant. It was sitting in with legislators and here we are again 50 years later doing the same damn thing. It’s ridiculous.”

Harrington’s neighbor and friend Vicki Pinkus agreed. She said, “Obviously the anti-abortion thing has been going on for decades and the culmination has been with these liars on the Supreme Court. We must band together for the sake of our children.”

M.G. Perez
An unidentified abortion rights supporter dressed in costume representative of the television series A Handmaid's Tale, a fictional story about governmental control of women's reproductive freedom, San Diego, CA, July 4, 2022.

An online movement over the holiday weekend flooded social media with a message that the Fourth of July was canceled due to a lack of independence for women.

Felicia Shaw is Executive Director of the Women’s Museum of California here in San Diego.

“As an African American it’s not my favorite holiday anyway,” Shaw said, “It didn’t have a lot of meaning for people that look like me back then. So, the day will come, the day will go and we will still be looking for ways we can galvanize and fight the good fight.”

M.G. Perez
The Party for Socialism and Liberation San Diego conducted an education session in the park for supporters after the march, Monday, to share strategies for organizing protests in the future, San Diego, CA, July 4, 2022.

After the holiday march, there was an education session in the park for supporters to learn strategies for organizing protests in the future.