Thousands of women, men and children from across the state gathered at the southern steps of the Capital on Saturday to protest state laws that they say curtail basic human rights for women.
Organized primarily by the group Unite Against the War on Women, speakers and sign-wavers said they wanted overturn bills passed last year by the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature that defunded Planned Parenthood and required a transvaginal sonogram for women seeking an abortion.
The protesters came from all over the state, including women and men from Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Arlington, Denton and many other small towns in between.
The Austin rally was one of many protests across the country, as widespread Republican victories in 2010 led to the passage of conservative policies on abortion and women’s rights in many other states: Kansas, Colorado, Virginia, Florida, Arkansas, Idaho and Oklahoma.
“We fought this fight 40 years ago,” said Susan Haney, one of the organizers of the Texas rally. “Our daughters and granddaughters should not have to fight it again.”
Genevieve Van Cleve, the deputy director of Annie’s List spoke vehemently about the need for Texas women and men to “fight back” against the right-wing policies passed last year by volunteering in women’s organizations and voting against Republican politicians.
Annie’s List is an organization started in 2003, which seeks to get more progressive women elected to state office.
“The people in this state matter more than the rhetoric and cynical greed of Rick Perry and his Republican legislature hell bent on dividing us,” Van Cleve said.
Check out the rest of the photos below.
PLANO RESIDENT VICTORIA CLARKE AND HER DAUGHTER NATALIE CLARKE CHEER AT THE SATURDAY RALLY.
SEVERAL SPEAKERS, INCLUDING SUSAN HANEY, ASKED TO CROWD TO REMEMBER TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER.
MEGAN TAYLOR, AN AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT, HEARD ABOUT THE EVENT THROUGH THE SCHOOL’S GAY STRAIGHT ALLIANCE.