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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 27, 2020   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

National Recap: Women’s marches take place across the U.S.

Demonstrators gathered in Washington, D.C., and across the United States for the Women’s March on Oct. 17 to honor the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and protest President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

This is the second Women’s March this year, with the first taking place in January. The march brings together women and allies from across the country to advocate for gender and racial equality, as well as issues like climate change and immigration. The first Women’s March in 2017 was held in response to Trump’s inauguration. This year, many people were at the march to protest Barrett filling the vacant seat of Supreme Court justice left by the late Ginsburg. Barrett’s hearing took place from Oct. 12 to Oct. 15. With Barrett’s potential nomination, most of the landmark liberal progressive gains of the last decades, including Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act, could be rolled back.

Trump said that he wants Barrett’s confirmation to move quickly because of the upcoming election on Nov. 3. Trump said he believes that the Supreme Court could ultimately decide whether he or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden win the election, according to CNN.

The crowd was much smaller at this year’s march, a change that was likely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Women’s March in 2017 was thought to have been the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.

Marches were also held in other cities like Denver, New York and Nashville, Tennessee. A consistent theme of the events was mobilizing women to vote. In every U.S. presidential election dating back to 1984, women reported having turned out to vote at slightly higher rates than men, according to the Pew Research Center.

“Donald Trump is leaving office and there is no choice for him — it is our choice — and we are voting him out come Nov. 3,” said Sonja Spoo, a reproductive rights activist, at the march, as reported by NPR.

Many marchers were focused on Barrett and how a more conservative Supreme Court could affect abortion rights. Fatima Goss Graves, a member of the National Women’s Law Center, spoke out against Barrett at the demonstration.

“She will undermine our access to reproductive health care, to abortion from voting rights to climate change,” Goss Graves said. “She refused to even answer basic questions.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on Barrett’s nomination on Oct. 22 — which, if successful, as it likely will be — would mean a full floor vote as early as Oct. 23.

John Turner can be reached at jturner3@ithaca.edu