ROE RALLY IN JOSHUA TREE
Morongo Basin joins nationwide protests on the anniversary of 1973 Roe v. Wade decision
A small but mighty group of protesters braved a cold, drizzly Joshua Tree morning to mark the anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade decision, the landmark Supreme Court ruling establishing a woman’s right to choose. The group, bundled up against the chill, held their signs up to drivers passing on Rt. 62 just outside the Joshua Tree Farmer’s Market, cheering at the honks of support.
Roe was decided on January 22, 1973, on the basis of a constitutional right to privacy, but a movement to reverse the decision simmered in the background of American politics for years. Most pro-choice advocates didn’t take the threat of the elimination of Roe seriously as it was settled law (stare decisis) for nearly half a century.
But with a decidedly rightward shift in the makeup of the court in recent years, anti-choice activists decided it was time to make their move. Roe was overturned on June 24, 2022. The court majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, said all previous judicial opinions upholding the right to choose must be overruled because they were “egregiously wrong.”
Since then, numerous lawsuits have been filed by women harmed by strict abortion laws, and every time voters have been given the chance to uphold pro-choice policies throughout the U.S., they have affirmed a woman’s right to choose. Politicians try to soft-pedal their anti-choice positions as the polls clearly show, even in conservative states, that stance is a sure-fire vote repellent.
When California voters were given the chance to support abortion rights with Proposition 1 in the November 2022 election, it won with a whopping 66.8% approval. Prop 1 enshrined the right to abortion care and contraception in the state’s constitution.
Chandra Baxter put the call out for the rally after seeing the call to action on the Women’s March website that encouraged people to organize locally.
“Some people came all the way from Beaumont, but we have a lot of locals too. We also got support from Democrats of the Morongo Basin.”
Baxter said she’s involved in The Camping Impact, a nationwide group helping women throughout the country access maternity care, from abortion to adoption.
Jennifer Rendon, 48, of Joshua Tree, said she just couldn’t stand by after seeing the impact on women’s lives post-Roe:
I’m a supporter of women’s right to the legal ability to choose what they do with their own body. I was born in 1975, and to think it would go away in my lifetime was just unfathomable. It’s just appalling that these women have to drive for days to go to another state (to access care), or sometimes they can’t afford to travel, and many have complications that then affects their health.
Lula Broderick, 60, of Twentynine Palms, said, “I saw that this was happening today, and I immediately wanted to come out and support it. I have daughters of reproductive age.…It scares me because I remember when it was (not legal). I never thought in a million years that this would happen…and now it’s Handmaid’s Tale, here we come.” `
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