ON THE SCENE: In face of 6-week ban, abortion rights advocates stand strong

Bans Off Our Bodies protest photo
Abortion supporters are the majority in Texas and we refuse to be silenced.

Editor's Note: On May 19, 2022, the Bans Off Our Bodies performance protests were awarded the Best of Austin Politics and Media Wild Card. These protests were planned and executed by abortion rights organizations across Texas, including ACLU of Texas, The Afiya Center, Avow, Deeds Not Words, Jane’s Due Process, Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, Progress Texas, Texas Equal Access Fund, Texas Freedom Network, Whole Woman's Health, and Whole Woman's Health Alliance.

In a state like Texas, hope can be a rare commodity. 

This week was devastating as a number of terrible laws went into effect, including SB 8, Texas’ six-week abortion ban. Because many people don’t know they are pregnant at six weeks, the ban has a sweeping affect and bars a vast majority of abortion care in Texas. The law also allows a citizen from any state to sue any Texan who provides assistance to someone seeking abortion, and reap a $10,000 cash reward - literal bounty hunters 

Once again, Texas is ground zero in the fight for abortion rights. Organizations are preparing for lawsuits, Texans seeking abortions are being turned away, and a basic human right — the right to control what happens to one’s own body — has been stolen. 

But even in the face of extreme distress, abortion rights advocates and supporters have demonstrated their strength and resilience. Advocates and everyday Texans organized performance protests across the state to speak out against the six-week ban and remind Texans that we have strength in numbers. 

Abortion supporters are the majority. We are everywhere, and we refuse to be silenced. 

During the protests, Texans had a message for anti-abortion extremists and the lawmakers responsible for this law: Keep your bans off our bodies!

Art is powerful and resistance is necessary. Acts of defiance replenish hope for the fight ahead. So please, take a look at some of these photos, videos and coverage from the protests. Refuel your hope, because that’s what it will take for us to get through this fight. 

Media Coverage and Cover Photos:

In case you want to post a #BansOffOurBodies video of your own, here is the full chant that protesters recited across the state. And here is a step-by-step video of the performance that goes along with the chant.