Faye Valentine of DACAC speaking at Denver FRSO’s International Women’s Day rally.
(Fight Back! News/staff)
Denver, CO – On Wednesday, March 8, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization hosted a rally at the Colorado State Capitol building to celebrate International Women’s Day. Two dozen people gathered to answer the call for an end to attacks on women’s and reproductive rights, including members of Students for a Democratic Society and the Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee.
FRSO and Denver residents are outraged at the outcome of the Dobbs Supreme Court decision. So-called “trigger laws” banned abortion in 13 states after the decision was made in 2022. In other states, “heartbeat bills” have become law, seriously restricting the access to many working class and oppressed women to seek safe abortions and other contraceptive services.
Even in a state such as Colorado where reproductive rights seem better enshrined, we are one of the 17 states to have barred abortion clinics from receiving federal funding for contraception.
“John Roberts and Samuel Alito, nominated by George W. Bush, and Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, nominated by Donald Trump, whom we did not elect and were nominated by presidents who did not win the popular vote, are now making decisions for us, when the majority of the United States supports keeping abortion legal,” said Katherine Draken of FRSO.
People chanted together in support of prochoice protections, calling out “Not the church! Not the state! They will not decide our fate!” and “Women are unstoppable! A better world is possible!” Many hoisted signs saying, “Fight for women’s rights!” and “Defend reproductive rights!” for the oncoming Denver traffic to see.
FRSO condemns the violent attacks on transgender and gender-nonconforming people across the country, including criminalizing transgender healthcare, particularly for minors. So far in the 2023 legislative session lawmakers across the U.S. have introduced a total of 378 bills to limit LGBTQ people’s rights.
“Many of these bills cover multiple of these categories and more are being introduced every day. Many have already passed into law. As more pass, the lives of queer women, cis and trans alike, will get harder,” said Faye Valentine of the Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee (DACAC).
Utah passed SB 16 on January 28, which bans gender-affirming surgery for minors, increases the requirements for receiving hormone replacement therapy, and establishes the ability for the state of Utah to set a date that prevents individuals who are not already diagnosed with gender dysphoria from receiving hormone treatment. This will effectively bar those who have not already started the process of receiving gender-affirming healthcare from ever starting. Hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries greatly help reduce dysphoria and save lives. This is just one of the 105 bills limiting or banning trans healthcare.
States like Florida have begun mandating that teachers and other school staff “report” LGBTQ children to their parents, which can put them in grave danger if the child’s family is not supportive. They have even begun requiring LGBTQ educators to stay in the closet under threat of heavy fines and being fired from their jobs, and banning LGBTQ books in classrooms.
Julia Swezy of SDS ended her speech saying, “We lock horns with our oppressors and we are the bringers of a brighter future. Let’s celebrate our community. Celebrate women, solidarity, liberation efforts and the power of the people.”
Denver FRSO celebrates the long history of the women’s movement in its struggle for women’s liberation and continues to support the struggle for women’s and reproductive rights.