Local News

OC Residents Rally for Reproductive Rights

Local civil rights organizations, including OC Justice Initiative, C.O.R.E. (Community Organizing Revolutionary Equality) Movement, and Yalla (Arabic for “Let’s Go”) Indivisible organized a rally to defend abortion rights that took place on Saturday, May 7 at the entrance to GardenWalk in Anaheim. After speeches and chants, about 50 attendees marched to the entrance of Disneyland where they blocked traffic for about 10 minutes, held signs, and chanted, “Abortion rights are human rights.”

Protestors block an entrance to Disneyland. Photo by Jesse La Tour

The rally was organized in response to the recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that argued for overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in America.

“Abortion is still legal. And you know how we can keep it legal? By doing what you are doing right now–by taking to the streets every single chance you have,” LuLu Hammad of the group Yalla Indivisible said to the assembled crowd. “Because reproductive rights are human rights!”

Hammad referenced a November 2021 article by UCI professor Michelle Goodwin entitled, “I was Raped by my Father; Abortion Saved My Life.”

Chloe Serrano, a 17-year-old student at Fullerton Union High School, and co-founder of Melanated Youth, spoke at the rally. Melanated Youth is a Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) and youth-led coalition that mobilizes youth voices together in solidarity to fight against systematic oppression towards marginalized communities.

“I’m so glad you came out here to fight for our freedom and our human rights, which we shouldn’t have to fight for,” Serrano said. “Five days ago, when I heard the news of the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade, I felt sick to my stomach…I instantly thought how this would disproportionately affect already marginalized communities. How the ban on safe abortions would affect Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)…I’m only 17 and I represent a majority of other BIPOC youths fighting for our rights.”

Protestors line up along Katella Ave. in Anaheim. Photo by Jesse La Tour

Justice Crudup (from the OC Justice Initiative), who led the marchers from Gardenwalk to Disneyland, said, “We’re not just going to be here standing and screaming. We’re going to make sure Anaheim knows, Disneyland knows, we’re going to make sure everybody around here knows that abortion rights are human rights.”

Anthony Bryson, an organizer with CORE Movement, said that in addition to abortion rights, he sees other rights under attack, such as LGBTQ rights, as demonstrated by the recent “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida.

“We see what their goal is–to eliminate abortion rights, and gay marriage is going to be next up for the taking,” Bryson said. “And we need to be out now mobilizing individuals for the rights we have, to sustain them…We need mass protests, and we need to sustain mass protests.”

Protestors wear costumes from the novel/show The Handmaid’s Tale. Photo by Jesse La Tour

The rally in Anaheim took place in the context of rallies and protests across the country to defend abortion rights. Locally, Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernadino Counties is planning a large rally on May 14 in Santa Ana at Centennial Regional Park 3000 W Edinger Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704. For more information visit www.bansoffabortion.org.

As the marchers lined up to block a crosswalk entrance to Disneyland, one of the organizers said, “What they see is some people blocking a crosswalk. What I see is the future of America getting into some ‘good trouble,’ that necessary trouble.”

Protestors stand outside a Disneyland entrance. Photo by Jesse La Tour

Although a few police officers were present, there were no arrests.

Food and water for the rally was donated by the Chapman University Ethnic Studies Department.

Protestors marched from GardenWalk to Disneyland in Anaheim. Photo by Jesse La Tour