Archives - New York March for Women's Lives
August 2004
Republican National Convention 2004: New York March for Women's Lives
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Toting a backpack and wielding a map, I feared I was obvious prey in a city rumored to eat people alive. I was relieved when a woman on the train struck up a conversation with me after noticing my pink "Stand Up for Choice" t-shirt; she was going to the March for Women's Lives too and offered to help me get there. When we transferred trains in Grand Central station, we encountered a few more marchers, and our group swelled with each stop. The car was soon buzzing with memories of the Washington D.C. March for Women's Lives back in April and speculation on how many strong we would be today. From what I understand, entire subway cars of complete strangers do not usually erupt into lively conversation in New York City. But this was a special day; we all had our reasons for being there, and we wanted to share them.

As it turned out, 25,000 of us marched across the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday in support of a woman's right to choose. Later that day a friend of mine asked, "Well, did that change anything?" I had to stop and consider his question. I knew our march wouldn't remove the anti-choice plank from the Republican Party platform. (In fact, an appeal for language that would have simply recognized disagreement on this point within the party was rejected on last week.) But I also knew I didn't drive all the way to New York for nothing. Saturday's march strengthened all the organizations involved and mobilized its activists. The most powerful part for me was realizing how many people care so passionately about choice, and how different we all are. Any cause that transforms New York, a city notorious for being callous and impersonal, into a community of cooperation and collaboration must truly be worthy.

Although I was exhausted by the end of the day, I left the march feeling revived by the reassurance that we are organized, we are powerful, and we are diverse: we are the pro-choice majority!

- Becky Reid (electronic mail, August 31, 2004)

Grassroots Organizer
Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, Inc.

March for Women's Lives, New York City, August 28, 2004. Photos: Becky Reid

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