On Saturday, May 14, pro-abortion protests kicked off nationwide in 400 cities due to the United States Supreme Court set to overturn Roe v. Wade. Over 1,000 protestors gathered at City Hall at the Bans Off Our Bodies March of Mahogany protest in Houston, Texas, led by the Hoochies of Houston to say Texas women have had enough. The SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe is years in the making, a trepidation that southern states like Texas have felt the most. For the past 30 years, Republican legislators have made it harder and harder for Texas pregnant people to seek the care they want. But the energy at the rally was electrifying, and it’s obvious to any bystander that enough is enough.
It all started the same day my abortion op-ed was published; the Hoochies of Houston sent me a DM asking me to speak at the rally. It’s the first time someone has asked me to speak publicly about anything, especially my work. My abortion story has always been personal, but I felt fearless. And at this point, I’m ready to share my story with whoever is listening. I was tired of feeling alone and ashamed of my decision and hiding a piece of myself and my story. Solidarity is one of the most important aspects of reproductive justice, and I believe the only way we win is together.
Like I said in my speech, as a journalist, I’m not supposed to insert myself into the news, but the amount of love, support, and feedback I have received is truly overwhelming. Like my story, people resonate with authenticity, something the Hoochies of Houston has always symbolized since my first piece about them in July 2021. Their tenacity in reproductive justice is necessary for Black women, primarily because, in reality, abortion care is not rare and not only meant for pregnant people who experience tragic pregnancies. Abortion is healthcare for anyone who needs it regardless of their situation. And pregnant people also deserve access to care no matter their elected official’s religious beliefs.
The rally included well-known Texas officials like Congressmembers Sheila Jackson Lee, Al Green, Sylvia Garcia, Representative-elect Jolanda Jones, and abortion advocates who organize abortion seekers’ transportation, financial support, and resources. In my opinion, these are the real superheroes and courageous people who wake up every day to serve the most vulnerable. I spoke with Hanna and Lakeia, both abortion advocates who work for the abortion aids Buckle Bunnies, who said the best way people can help is to support abortion funds. According to Lakeia, abortion funds send 1,000 dollars to pregnant people every day to keep up with the cost of procedures, transportation, and lodging. Abortion funds are the backbone of reproductive justice.
The diverse Houston crowd reminded me that there are thousands of Americans feeling the same sense of urgency. The Hoochies of Houston March of Mahogany rally symbolized Americans’ rage, passion, and resilience in this historical moment when federal abortion rights will be non-existent by June. The fight for abortions, freedom, and equality is not the end. It’s only just beginning.
Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.