Women’s March returns to DC championing reproductive rights

The Women’s March returned to D.C. Saturday to protest recent legislation passed in Texas almost completely banning abortion and the Supreme Court’s decision not to intervene.

The U.S. Supreme Court was asked to intervene and block the legislation, but declined to do so, sparking protests in D.C. and across the country. The march organizers said they feel that this is an early indication that Roe v. Wade could soon come under fire.

The permit obtained from the National Park Service said the organizers expected around 10,000 people to attend the march.

The day’s events began with a faith gathering in Freedom Plaza beginning at 10 a.m. featuring a “Shabbat experience” hosted by the National Council of Jewish Women, followed by a multi-faith service.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez reported the entryways to the rally area had masks available for those who did not already have one. The masks had “I march for abortion access” with Saturday’s date written on them. There were also a number of posters with rally slogans written on them for people to pick up.

With the U.S Capitol in the background, thousands of demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue during the Women’s March in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Protesters take part in the Women’s March and Rally for Abortion Justice in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)

Demonstrators gather in Freedom Plaza ahead of a march for abortion rights through downtown Washington, D.C. on Oct. 2, 2021. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

A woman dressed as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg holds a riot shield at D.C.’s Freedom Plaza ahead of a Women’s March-led abortion rights rally on Oct. 2, 2021. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

Demonstrators hold signs at the Women’s March Rally for Abortion Justice in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 2, 2021. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

Abortion rights marchers hold signs at the edge of Freedom Plaza during a Women’s March event in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 2, 2021. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

Buttons stand available for new arrivals to the Women’s March Rally for Abortion Justice in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 2, 2021. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

Women’s March demonstrators turn their back to a small group of counter-protesters along the edge of Freedom Plaza during the Rally for Abortion Justice in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 2, 2021. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

An abortion rights activist blocks an anti-abortion counter-protester on the edges Freedom Plaza during the Women’s March Rally for Abortion Justice in downtown Washington, D.C. on Oct. 2, 2021. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

Women’s March
Demonstrators hold signs during the Women’s March rally at Freedom Plaza, in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Protesters take part in the Women's March and Rally for Abortion Justice at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2021. - The abortion rights battle took to the streets across the US, with hundreds of demonstrations planned as part of a new "Women's March" aimed at countering an unprecedented conservative offensive to restrict the termination of pregnancies. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Protesters take part in the Women’s March and Rally for Abortion Justice at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Protesters take part in the Women’s March and Rally for Abortion Justice at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2021. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)

U.S. Capitol police officers outfitted in tactical gear separate abortion rights marchers from counter-protesters outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 2, 2021. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

A protester attends the Rally For Abortion Justice on October 02, 2021 in Washington, DC.

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Women’s March
Protesters take part in the Women's March and Rally for Abortion Justice at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2021. - The abortion rights battle took to the streets across the US, with hundreds of demonstrations planned as part of a new "Women's March" aimed at countering an unprecedented conservative offensive to restrict the termination of pregnancies. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Crowds began pouring into Freedom Plaza throughout the morning, many carrying signs in support of reproductive rights with sayings like “Bans Off My Body” and “Mind Your Own Uterus.”

At noon, the rally proper kicked off with comedian and activist Cristela Alonzo hosting.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano reported that the protesters’ message was focused “like a laser” on reproductive rights this year, whereas previous marches championed several progressive causes simultaneously.

Uliano said, by his estimate, thousands of people marched to the Supreme Court Saturday, raising a loud cry for abortion rights. Marchers made clear that their demonstration, which began with a “Rally for Abortion Justice” at Freedom Plaza, was energized by their opposition to the new abortion restrictions in Texas.

Rally speakers took aim at the Texas law, which bans most abortions after about 6 weeks. Speakers called it a dark moment that sparked the rally.

The rally comprised the 5th annual Women’s March, which rescheduled it’s annual march in D.C. from the icy month of January to the temperate month of October. The march took place under sun-filled skies with warm temperatures.

Small pre-printed signs bobbed above the heads of the crowd , Keep Abortion Legal, and bigger homemade signs, “Free Abortion on Demand Without Apology,” “Mind Ur Own Uterus,” and “I Demand Separation Between Vagina and State.”

Counterprotestors also arrived on Saturday, brining signs that showed deceased fetuses with claims that they were the results of late-term abortion.


See more Women’s March coverage


WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez, Dick Uliano and Valerie Bonk contributed to this report.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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