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Reproductive Rights Led the Charge in This Year’s Women’s March … But Where Was the Media?

Thousands of people turned out across the country to march for reproductive justice.

Abortion rights protesters in NYC

Saturday saw thousands of protesters take to the streets for the annual Women’s March, where the clear focus was abortion rights and reproductive justice. The issue is at the forefront of the march after the Supreme Court declined to block Texas law SB8, a draconian and extreme ban on abortions after 6 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest. SB8 not only effectively outlaws abortion, but allows any private citizen to sue anyone aiding a person seeking an abortion (from a doctor to a friend to a Lyft driver) for a bounty of $10,000.

And Texas’s vicious new law is now setting an example, with Florida attempting to pass similar legislation of their own. It’s a horrific outcome that reproductive rights activists have been warning us of ever since Donald Trump took office in 2016, where he appointed three anti-choice justices for a conservative majority in the highest court in the land.

The marches come just two days before the beginning of the Supreme Court’s new term, where abortion rights continue to be in jeopardy, despite the majority of the country supporting safe and legal abortion access. Over 625 rallies in all 50 states were held, with massive crowd turnouts protesting the war on women.

The Washington, D.C. march saw protesters walking from the White House to the steps of the Supreme Court, with shouts of “My body, my choice” and chants of “Shame! shame!” in front of the Supreme Court building.

While over 120,000 people marched in protest across the country, the mainstream media was largely absent, with coverage of the massive events largely ignored in favor of covering … literally anything else. Coverage of the march was absent even on left-leaning MSM sites like HuffPost, which ran four different articles on last night’s SNL in their “What’s Happening” section but nothing on the women’s march:

Huffpost lead page has nothing on abortion rights march.

(image: screencap/HuffPost)

It’s indicative of how little women’s rights matter to mainstream media, when 20 Proud Boys at a Denny’s or Donald Trump sneezing makes bigger headlines than hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets. And the cognitive dissonance didn’t go unnoticed by attendees.

What else could this be but sexism that starts at the very top, with the conservative billionaires who own mainstream news outlets? Then there’s the trickle-down effect corporate sexism, which spreads like wildfire in newsrooms both national and local. In the wake of Trump leaving office, the news cycle has somewhat stabilized, yet the media can’t resist Trump bait like Stephanie Grisham’s new tell-all. In the meantime, we’re stuck with front page articles about Brett Kavanaugh getting Covid, and nothing about the women’s rights he and his cronies plan to decimate.

What a disservice to these marches, and to reproductive justice.

(image: KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.