Abortion rights activists are leaving today on a month long freedom ride across America. The mobile protest is the brainchild of Susan Taylor, founder of the group End Pornography and Patriarchy, which has raised over $22,00 to finance the ride. The Riders say they plan to:
“protest and confront the anti-abortion woman-haters, erect visual displays that tell the truth about abortion and birth control, collect and amplify women’s abortion stories in order to break the silence, defend the clinics and providers most under attack, and meet with people to build lasting organization to DEFEAT the whole war on o women.”
Caravans will depart from both coasts this evening, after kick-off celebrations in New York and San Francisco. The plan is to stop for abortion rights rallies in 14 states, including states where abortion is in danger of being regulated out of existence.
The Abortion Freedom Riders expect to be in North Dakota on August 1, which is the date the new state law limiting abortions to 6 weeks into a pregnancy would have taken effect, except for the temporary injunction issued yesterday by a Federal judge.
The caravan will then head south to Wichita, Kansas, and the recently reopened abortion clinic of Dr. George Tiller who was murdered by a so-called “pro-life” activist.
The Freedom Riders will also visit Jackson, Mississippi, where the only thing keeping the last clinic open is a federal judge’s temporary restraining order.
Though the caravan had no plans to visit North Carolina, the women of that state were so incensed by the new abortion restrictions stuck into a motorcycle safety bill, they have decided to join in the ride, along with the North Carolina ACLU. They plan on vising Wisconsin and Texas, both states where Republican legislatures have passed draconian restrictions on a woman’s right to choose.
If you live in New York you are invited to join the send-off party at 4:00-7:00 ET tonight on the north side of Union Square. The west coast send-off will be held at San Francisco’s Potrero Del Sol Park from 4:30-6:00 PT. The organizing group, Stop Pornography and Patriarchy, promises music, speakers, and a message banner to sign that will be carried by the caravans and displayed at all their stops. If you don’t live near the send-off locations, the Freedom Riders hope you will join them at the point the caravan comes closest to your home. You can check the map of their expected route posted below.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.