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“I’ve noticed that these men don’t want a vasectomy, but they also don’t want an abortion, so … pick one,” said Vanessa Castillo, of Grand Prairie. Castillo had to travel to New Mexico to obtain an abortion in February. Her advice to others? “Get an IUD,” she said. Photo by Madison Simmons.
A crowd holds signs voicing support for Roe v. Wade. The rally on Saturday consisted of chanting and of listening to testimonies. “We believe there’s a lot of power in unity,” said Jasmin Flores, member of the local chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Photo by Madison Simmons.

More than 100 people from across North Texas gathered at the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse on Saturday to demonstrate support for the constitutional right to an abortion. The local branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation organized the rally in the wake of a leaked opinion by conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito describing plans to overturn Roe v. Wade later this year.

PSL DFW member Jasmin Flores led the crowd in call and response chants like, “My body, my choice! Their body, their choice!” and “Come on, come on and join the fight! Abortion is a human right!” Between chants, Flores invited rallygoers to take the megaphone and share testimonies. Several women spoke of their personal experiences with abortion.

Texans have faced limited access to abortion since September 2021 when SB 8 took effect. The state law bans abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected. This usually happens at around six weeks, long before most women realize they are pregnant. Though Fort Worth clinics Planned Parenthood and Whole Woman’s Health have stayed open since the passing of the law, SB 8 has limited their ability to provide abortions.

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Vanessa Castillo experienced this first-hand in February. She took the megaphone Saturday evening to share her story. The Grand Prairie resident realized she was pregnant after the cutoff, sending her scrambling to find a way to obtain an abortion.

Local clinics referred her to out-of-state facilities. Referral after referral told her they had no availability. Nationwide clinics are struggling to keep up with demand created by state restrictions. The fifth referral worked out, and Castillo arranged to go to New Mexico for her procedure. She came to the rally to share her experience and support others.

“This affects me personally, and this affects so many people I know personally,” she said.

Glynis DeMone, of Saginaw, also shared her experience. In March, unbeknownst to her, she had an ectopic pregnancy. This caused internal bleeding, and DeMone nearly died. Removing the ectopic pregnancy is technically an abortive procedure. In the future, women may not have access to that type of health care and may die along with the collection of cells that the new law may be trying to protect.

DeMone said she had always been pro-choice, but her own experience had brought a “sharpness” to her opinions.

“It’s bullshit that my abortion is somehow more acceptable than others,” she said. “No one’s body should be forced to keep someone else’s alive. … I just got to the point where I think it’s no one’s fucking business.”

 

Siblings Destiny and Taylor Clayton react in kind to a man who stopped his truck in the middle of Weatherford Street to flip off the group of people gathered at the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse to show support for the constitutional right to an abortion.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
Attendees of the rally for abortion rights held signs out to those driving down Weatherford Street on Saturday night.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
Shae Choate testifies to the crowd at the Tarrant County Courthouse Saturday. Choate sought an abortion after becoming pregnant in an abusive relationship. “You made the right choice,” someone from the crowd said. “I know I did!” she replied. Choate had driven an hour from Paradise to attend the rally.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
Jasmin Flores leads call-and-response chants at Saturday’s rally for abortion rights. Flores is a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the group that organized the event.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
Khloe Clayton, 4, holds a sign at the rally for abortion rights at Tarrant County Courthouse. “I’ve had an abortion,” said Destiny Clayton, her mother, “and knowing if my daughter grows up and might not have that right — that pisses me off.” Clayton said she wants both her daughter and her son to have the same rights and to grow up knowing they can talk to her about difficult situations.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
Jessica Smith and her daughter Sarah, 9, participate in call and response chants at a rally in support of the constitutional right to abortion. Smith, a single mother of five, brought four of her daughters to the rally on Saturday evening. “I’ve had a hysterectomy, so this is going to affect them more than me,” she said. “Motherhood is hard. They know that, and that decision shouldn’t be made for them.”
Photo by Madison Simmons.
Glynis DeMone listens to testimonies during the rally Saturday evening. The Saginaw resident said she still suffers from panic attacks from a near death experience after complications from an ectopic pregnancy. She had the nonviable pregnancy surgically removed, which could be considered a criminal offense in the future.
Photo by Madison Simmons.
More than 100 people from across North Texas gathered at the Tarrant County Courthouse to show support for the constitutional right to abortion. Last September, the state of Texas banned abortions after the detection of fetal cardiac activity. This month, a leaked draft showed the majority of Supreme Court members plan to overturn Roe v. Wade later this year.
Photo by Madison Simmons.

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