Local News

Local Youth Hold Protest for Abortion Rights

With the recent overturning of Roe V. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that granted women the right to safe and accessible abortions, citizens of Fullerton protested in front of City Hall on July 16 to express their anger over this recent ruling. The organization Melanated Youth, founded by high schoolers Ahsha Jones and Chloe Serrano, organized this protest in an effort to empower residents to express their outrage over the Supreme Court’s decision.

Young protesters outside Fullerton City Hall on July 16. Photo by Gaston Castellanos.

The protesters took to the streets and held up hand-made signs that expressed their views on the abrogation of abortion access. People from many different backgrounds and ages were present, and many honked their cars in support. Powerful slogans were broadcasted through megaphones, such as “Bans Off Our Bodies,” and “They Say No Choice, We Say Pro-Choice.” The first 40 minutes were spent chanting into the streets and raising the collective voices of the pro-choice community.

Chloe Serrano, co-founder and executive director of Melanated Youth, shared her thoughts on the overruling of this decision. “My first response was that I was miserable and very shocked. Before the overturning, I was cynical of the government, but I also had a lot more naivete and trust. I definitely feel like my rights are not secure nor safe.”

Ahsha Jones, the co-founder and project director of Melanated Youth, said, “This issue goes beyond just abortions. Black and indigenous people who have uteruses are the ones most likely to be affected. I’m not shocked because this was bound to happen with the people we have in office.”

Protesters chant for abortion rights outside Fullerton City Hall. Photo by Gaston Castellanos.

Jones discussed what measures must be taken to enact change and help grant safety and accessibility for all people seeking an abortion. “We need to build community in order to bring change. There are so many ways to build community, not only just protesting, but building mutual aid and raising funds so that we can use them to help people outside the State. In California, we’re very privileged to have the access of abortion, but that doesn’t mean that it’s accessible to all people. I hope people know that even though protesting is how we’ve seen most reactions to Roe v. Wade, there are different causes and micro-level things you can do at home.”

The protest came to a close with powerful speeches delivered by Serrano and Jones. They shared other issues that are coming into question in the Supreme Court, such as the potential for contraceptives and same-sex marriages being banned. They shared the consequences this will have for disadvantaged women who do not have access to safe abortions due to living in subpar conditions or in a trigger-ban state.

Although the conclusion of this decision has been severely disheartening for women all over the United States, both Serrano and Jones said it is important for us to do anything we can to help those women who do not have proper access to medical facilities that perform abortions.

Protesters outside Fullerton City Hall on July 16. Photo by Gaston Castellanos.

Melanated Youth coordinated with other organizations that offered resources for attendees who want more information on this issue and tell how to contribute to their community.

These organizations include the following:

Access Inclusion Advancement Project: https://instagram.com/aiap.oc?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Pots4Abortion: https://instagram.com/pots4abortion?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Students for a Democratic Society USC: https://instagram.com/sds_usc?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Closing the Gap: https://instagram.com/closingthegappod?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Students for Quality Education: https://instagram.com/sqelongbeach?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=