Democratic Socialists of America holds Organized Labor for Reproductive Justice Rally

Local chapters of Democratic Socialists of America held an Organized Labor for Reproductive Justice Rally and Resource Fair at the Federal Courthouse in Austin. They're calling for abortion rights. 

The event included labor unions, activists, and abortion funds. Organizers say the resource fair brings together everyone from legal experts to unions highlighting working class voices.

"If we can just make sure that anyone who is looking for those resources or that path forward gets in touch, that will be a success for us," Heidi Sloan, volunteer organizer for the Austin Chapter of Democratic Socialists of America said.

She says the goal is to get people connected through collective organizing.

"We know that reproductive justice falls most unequally on people of color and poor people. When we have people of color and poor people who are already marginalized in so many ways, afraid to get the healthcare they need, we know we get deadly outcomes," Sloan said. "We're also concerned about investigations into people's lives, into their privacy, into their personal information."

One union organizer says abortion rights issues can really impact those who are working class.

"Somebody who is earning a low wage is not going to be able to afford to take care of a family... and until somebody is ready for that it should be their choice and their opportunity to plan their own family and be able to decide when that happens for them," Abigail Leighton, union labor organizer at IBEW Local 520, said. "The beautiful part of having a family is that it should be full of love, and it should be fun, and it should be nice and wonderful. It shouldn't be this thing where you go, 'wow, my life is ruined.'"

Organizers say the timing of the rally comes before the Texas trigger law goes into effect on Aug. 25, which will increase penalties for abortion providers.

Mary Castle, senior policy advisor at Texas Values, says, "it's disappointing that they're having this rally. We should be celebrating the recent Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson that will save thousands of lives, including babies' lives in Texas. "

Castle says there are programs that can help struggling families.

"[In addition to government programs], there are plenty of pregnancy resource centers that help women economically, whether they need to get back on their feet and get a better job to take care of their families. Of course, there's always the opportunity for our state and local government to make sure that we have adequate programs to help families succeed. At the end of the day, a baby's life should never be a sacrifice in order for a family to succeed," she said.