In Johns Creek, a Northview High School club, Northview FEM, partnered with Women’s March to host an annual local march last October for women’s rights in direct response to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“This is what democracy looks like!”
The chant was one of the rallying cries during the annual Women’s March in Johns Creek. Hundreds of women gathered to march in honor of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Feminism has always been a huge part of my life,” Isha, President of Northview FEM, said. “So, I ended up starting my own feminist club.”
Isha, who is a junior, teamed up with several other students to create NHS’s first feminist organization, FEM, which stands for Feminism Empowers Me.
“Our two main aspects of feminism that we’re trying to go for is educating ourselves and educating our community,” Isha said.
Northview FEM partnered with the national organization Women’s March to bring together this event. Across the nation, marches were held in honor of Justice Ginsburg.
“I was just planning on going–not even hosting [an event]. At the time, I saw there were none in Georgia. So, we decided [to host one]. It was a big task,” Isha said.
A contagious aura of happiness was present throughout the march. People chanted while holding their signs in the air. One attendee showed up dressed as Notorious RBG.
“I think what made me the happiest was seeing that there was so much support for this cause,” Isha explained. “There was so much support for the women in our area.”
The march was held on October 17th, nearly a month after Justice Ginsburg’s death. About a week after the event, Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed onto the Supreme Court, filling Justice Ginsburg’s vacant seat.
“President Trump looks to give Amy Coney Barrett the seat as Supreme Court Justice,” one of the attendees said in a speech at the march. “This is a feminist issue. A gender equity issue for many reasons.”
Another attendee said, “we are here today to remind each other that we have one thing in common, and that is that all of our rights depend on a Supreme Court case.”
Dr. Linda Mancillas, an English professor at GGC and staunch supporter of women’s rights, gave an exclusive statement to the Globe, discussing the state of the choice and women’s rights now.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of the most ardent supporters of reproductive freedom,” Dr. Mancillas said. “With the states passing more and more restrictive legislation, there is little need to challenge Roe v. Wade.”
The Fate of Reproductive Rights
Roe v. Wade has become a focal point in mainstream media with the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett. With a 6-3 conservative majority, many people are unsure what this means for the fate of the monumental Supreme Court ruling.
The Supreme Court is set to hear a case regarding the Trump-era gag rule in the fall of 2021. It will be one of the first cases centered around reproductive rights that Amy Coney Barrett sits on.
“It’s just going to end with more women having unsafe abortions,” Isha said, in reference to the gag rule. “When this rule has been put in place in the past, the amount of abortions that happen don’t go down, the amount of women surviving abortions do. No woman should be forced to put herself in danger because she wants control over her body.”
In January, the Supreme Court made its first ruling on abortion since the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett. The court reinstated previous restrictions on the abortion pill, requiring women to pick up the drug in person or at a medical office.
“Limiting women’s access to important drugs during the pandemic puts their well-being in danger,” Dr. Mancillas said. “Minority and women without financial resources are especially at risk for health complications.”
“I don’t think it’s going to stop the amount of abortions that happen,” Isha said, in reference to a potentially overturned Roe v. Wade and continuous restrictions on abortion. “I think it’s just going to increase the amount of unsafe abortions that are happening, which not only will kill the unborn fetus, but also will kill the mother. Or if they’re forced to have the child, there’s going to be more kids in the foster system–a broken foster system. It’s not going to fix anything. It’s going back in time.”
With a new administration well underway, Dr. Mancillas still stressed the necessity of women’s rights.
“The U.S. does not have an Equal Rights Amendment,” she said. “Therefore, women’s rights are never secure because they are not constitutionally protected.”
Isha echoed her call, emphasizing the goal of Northview FEM.
“We all love the same country, and we need to fight for the same country. The whole point of a democracy is what every single citizen thinks matters,” Isha said. “So, going out and using your voice and expressing your opinion does matter. I think that’s really important for people to understand. There’s so many ways to get involved that go beyond voting.”