Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Graduate Students Across the U.S. Are Organizing for Abortion Rights

Students around the country are planning walkouts and other actions to defend abortion rights on October 6.

Olivia Wood

August 22, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share
Students marching with a banner that reads CUNY for Abortion Rights

This week, graduate students from more than fifty colleges and universities across the United States launched the Graduate Student Action Network (GSAN), a coalition centered around fighting for abortion rights and other forms of reproductive justice. GSAN’s first action is to coordinate a National Student Day of Action for abortion rights, to be held on October 6, the anniversary of the day a federal judge first blocked the draconian anti-abortion law in Texas.

The network includes graduate student unions, graduate student governments, and student advocacy organizations like Socialists of Caltech and CUNY For Abortion Rights. Students from almost two dozen schools across 14 states have signed on so far. Some schools are planning walkouts, while others are choosing less militant types of events like info sessions or wearing green to work.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, established NGOs like Planned Parenthood and the Women’s March have done relatively little to fight the abortion restrictions that have gone into effect in more than 25 states. Many individuals and smaller organizations have focused on raising money for abortion-focused mutual aid funds and clinics that are under siege. But students and workers know these efforts are tiny drops in the bucket when people — including children — are being forced to continue unwanted pregnancies. Mass action is needed.

These students and student groups recognize that the matter is too serious and too urgent not to take action. While some academic conferences are considering boycotting states that have banned or severely restricted access to abortion, students and faculty who live and work in those states are asking, “What about us?” Self-organization in our schools and workplaces is the answer. 

GSAN’s demands for the National Student Day of Action include:

  1. The right to safe, legal, and accessible abortions
  2. The right to gender-affirming care
  3. Free contraception
  4. Mandatory comprehensive sex education

Students are also encouraged to take up additional demands specific to local conditions at their schools, such as access to health insurance and childcare. 

You might be interested in: “The Democrats on Abortion Rights, in Their Own Words”

The Democratic Party cannot be trusted to protect abortion rights, as it has used the issue as a fundraising strategem for decades without ever following through on its promises. These graduate students are not alone: already, the Alphabet Workers Union, UPS Teamsters, and many other unions are making a stand, and even in deep red states like Kansas, however, the people themselves know the importance of protecting the right to an abortion. 

Campus unions and other higher education organizations, as well as members of the schools’ surrounding communities, should turn out on October 6 to support the students, participate in their actions, and join with them to organize bolder and more militant actions going forward. 

Facebook Twitter Share

Olivia Wood

Olivia is a writer and editor at Left Voice and an adjunct English lecturer in the NYC metropolitan area.

United States

Detroit protesters hold green banner that says "DTE" Affordable Renewable Energy Now

Detroiters Say ‘Hell No!’ to DTE’s Proposed Electricity Rate Hike

Detroiters are confronting regulators who are deciding whether private utilities can extract more profits from the working class during energy, inflation, housing, and climate crises.

Lee Palmer

September 20, 2022
US President Joe Biden stands in a suit wearing a mask, but is taking off one side of it.

Despite What Biden Says, the Pandemic Isn’t Over

Joe Biden and the bourgeoisie may be ready for the pandemic to be over, but that doesn’t mean Covid-19 has gone away.

Olivia Wood

September 20, 2022
Image of the Capitol building in grey scale with a turquoise semi-transparent overlay towards the left and a white semi-transparent overlay to the bottom right of it, overlapping slightly.

Polarization, Economic Crisis, and Class Struggle: The Contradictions of the Political Moment

From the resurgence of the Democratic party to the advance of the Right to the potential of Generation U, it is evident that we are in a moment of instability and heightened polarization in the midst of a burgeoning economic crisis and rising labor movement. The Left must take the opportunities presented by the current moment and turn them into advances for our movement.

Ezra Brain

September 18, 2022
In the center foreground, a Black person with gray close shaved hair wearing an orange t shirt wipes their face with their hand. In the background are pallets of water bottles and people are moving them.

Environmental Racism Leads to Water Crisis in Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi, a city whose population is more than 80 percent Black, has been without clean reliable water for days, adding to the ongoing water issues due to decades of neglect and divestment.

Molly Rosenzweig

September 2, 2022

MOST RECENT

Union leaders are joined by community group representatives, elected officials and social activists for a rally in support of unionization efforts by Amazon workers in the state of Alabama on March 21, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. - Workers and organizers are pushing for what would be one of the biggest victories for labor in the United States over the past few decades if successful in the first Amazon warehouse union election in Bessemer, Alabama, where worker's ballots must reach the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board by March 29 to be counted.

‘We Need a Labor Movement That’s a Lot More Militant and Willing to Challenge the Status Quo’: An Interview with Joe Burns

Joe Burns, director of collective bargaining with the CWA-AFA union, discusses his new book, Class Struggle Unionism, and the importance of a militant labor movement.

Left Voice

October 4, 2022
A Pakistani man wades through flood waters carrying a bit bag of produce.

‘It’s Time to Declare War on This Climate-Destroying System!’: Interview with a Pakistani Socialist about the Flood

The flood in Pakistan is one of the most horrific climate events in recent history. A Pakistani socialist describes the consequences of the disaster, as well as the economic crises facing the country.

Maxi Schulz

October 3, 2022

Lula Finishes Ahead of Bolsonaro, but the Elections Will Be Decided in the Second Round

Lula and the PT came out on top in the first round of Brazil’s elections, but it’s far from clear that their conciliatory program can stop the Right.

André Barbieri

October 2, 2022
Two men wading through floodwaters with an inundated house in the background.

Water Crises Portend Socialism or Barbarism

Catastrophic floods, droughts, and infrastructure failures highlight the ecological dangers of capitalism, and the urgent need for socialism.

Signý A.

October 1, 2022