Oct. 4, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Dozens of Queens residents rallied for reproductive rights outside Queens Borough Hall Saturday as part of a nationwide day of action for abortion justice.
The rally — and more than 600 similar protests across the country — was organized in response to the recent Texas law that effectively bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, earlier than when most women know they’re pregnant.
Queens residents Danielle Brecker and Melissa Bair hosted the rally and several elected officials and women’s health advocates spoke on the steps of borough hall.
They started the rally off with a moment of silence for every person who had lost their life from an unsafe abortion.
One speaker at the rally, women’s healthcare advocate and OB/GYN Dr. Heather Irobunda, said without safe and legal abortion care, more women’s lives will be lost.
“Access to abortion care is an essential tenet of reproductive justice,” she said. “If we don’t speak up to protect access, we are endangering lives.”
Other speakers included Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas, State Sen. Michael Gianaris, Deputy Queens Borough President Rhonda Binda, Council candidates Lynn Schulman and Julie Won and activist Zephyr Teachout.
Rep. Meng said she stands with everyone across the country fighting for reproductive freedom.
“With reproductive rights under attack in our country, it is more important than ever to do all we can to protect them,” she said. “The Texas law, and other barriers that threaten the right to choose, are devastating for so many women and families… All people deserve to make their own healthcare decisions.”
Her colleague, Rep. Carolyn Maloney said she has witnessed attacks against abortion rights increase in recent years, with the worst of them happening now.
“2021 is on pace to break the record for the number of state-level abortion restrictions passed into law,” Maloney said. “They are not just chipping away at our rights — they are bulldozing right through them.”
She said supporters must fight to keep abortions safe and legal.
“For many people, abortion means freedom — freedom to control our bodies and our futures,” she said. “We must act now to protect this fundamental right before it is too late.”
Another speaker, Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas, has been a longtime advocate for reproductive rights. Before being elected to the State Assembly, she served as the executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.
“As a national reproductive justice advocate, I know that the fight for access to abortion in Texas is our fight here in New York State too,” González-Rojas said. “[Texas law] SB8 is only one of many examples of legislation that has been introduced and some that have passed that seeks to rob a person’s bodily autonomy. We must resist these efforts everywhere.”
The fight for abortion justice is the fight for racial, gender, and economic justice.
Texas – you are not alone! We will keep fighting for the rights of people who give birth and we will be free! #AbortionJustice #BansOffOurBodies pic.twitter.com/INiE7AssoI
— Jessica González-Rojas (@votejgr) October 2, 2021
The Queens rally-goers were among thousands of Americans who participated in more than 660 rallies across the country Saturday in response to the recent Texas abortion law — the most restrictive in the country. The nationwide effort was spearheaded by the Women’s March organizers.