March for Abortion on Demand and without Apology!

(Photos: Saswat Pattanayak)Little is known about the Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. March 10 is observed to celebrate abortion providers because it is essential to recognize that Crisis Pregnancy Centers are fake “clinics” driven by anti-abortion agenda. They often have no clinical staff, spread lies, guilt-trip women and enormously delay and complicate women’s ability to access abortion.

New York City today witnessed a protest and march against sites of women’s oppression. The march started from the St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue because the Catholic Church’s approach to women, gender, science and sexuality is a Dark Ages disaster! The Pope has condemned condoms (causing millions of HIV/AIDS deaths). The Church condemns homosexuality and insists that “divorce is a sin” (contributing to women staying in abusive marriages). Recently, Catholic Bishops urged “non-compliance with new regulations requiring health insurance to cover birth control!

The March to Times Square was aimed at protesting the objectification of women. Women’s near naked and rail-thin bodies are used to sell everything from clothes to cars to “American culture” to the entire world. Protesters also targeted the US Military Recruiting Center because US military’s quasi-official reliance on brothels as a “perk” to make soldiers and the role of military forces in trafficking women and girls and the epidemic of rape, harassment and violence against female soldiers are core issues that needs addressing.

International Women’s Day celebrations in New York also witnessed a march to and protest strip clubs. American men spend an estimated $15 billion a year on strip clubs, as compared to $4 billion on baseball. Strip clubs have always objectified and degraded women. But as women have entered – and fought for increasing respect in – the public sphere, strip clubs have become an enclave for sexism and male entitlement towards women’s bodies. Further, strip clubs prey upon the desperation, abuse and addiction of many women, including trafficked women.

As one of the organizers, Sunsara Taylor from Stop Patriarchy points out, “Our protest is not symbolic. It is a beginning. It is a declaration. From now, until we win the full liberation of women, this war on women will be resisted with conscience, anger, imagination, massive mobilization, and relentless determination to turn the tide.”

Media Coordinator for this report: Saswat Pattanayak[email protected]