The biggest and youngest and loudest abortion rights march for years was organised in Sydney on June 9.
The protest was initiated by a high school student Bella Ziade, who told Green Left Weekly the march sent a “message of hope for progressive change” and it was “just the beginning” of what was needed for change.
Abortion is still governed by the NSW Crimes Act, which does not mean it is not accessible for a price, but it does mean that those procuring or giving abortions can be prosecuted.
Several young women speakers made salient points about needing abortion to be treated as a health issue, and suggested reasons for why it was not.
The overwhelmingly young and diverse crowd had responded to the callout to bring creative signs making the point. They included: “My body, My choice”, “Abortion is healthcare”, “Keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers” and “Ovary-acting? I think not”, “Don’t fuck with my freedom”, “Mind your own uterus! Oh wait, you don’t have one”, and “Keep abortion safe and legal and accessible”.
Ziade said she was inspired to initiate the protest after seeing the crackdown on abortion rights in Alabama in the United States, where a near-total abortion ban with no exception for rape or incest has been made law.
“Seeing everything that happened in the US, we are impacted by anything American, we’re so impacted by Western culture. It’s still a criminal offence [in NSW]. That could easily become our reality in NSW and it scared me,” Ziade told SBS News on June 9.