CP photo by Rebecca Addison
New Voices organizers at Dom Costa's office
In January, thousands of women took to the streets of Pittsburgh to rally for women's rights
like equal pay and reproductive justice, and to put a stop to gender violence. In large part, the marches in Pittsburgh and around the country were spurred by the presidential election of Donald Trump, a man who many in this country have by now heard saying of women: "Grab them by the pussy."
After the protests of Jan. 21, women were encouraged to take the energy spawned by disdain for America's sexist president, and use it to continue the fight to improve women's rights.
And today, on International Women's Day, Pittsburghers did just that. Along with participating in a strike at 3 p.m. where women walked out of their jobs as well as forms of unpaid labor, activists have been using the day to draw attention to issues currently being considered by the Pennsylvania legislature.
Among them are House Bill 77 and Senate Bill 3, which would limit abortion access across the state. Earlier today, members of the activism organization New Voices visited the office of state Rep. Dom Costa (D-Stanton Heights) to express their opposition to the local legislation.
"Black women and femmes deserve access to abortions and access to reproductive health care, and we demand that our representatives represent us," said Daunasia Yancey at Costa's Morningside office, before leading a group of a dozen in chants of "trust black women."
New Voices founder La' Tasha Mayes entered the office to talk to Costa's staff who told her the representative would be voting against HB 77. The group also planned to visit the office of state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl (D-Summerhill).
"People are emboldened these days to act in opposition to so many of the communities that we hold dear, but we know it's important to resist," Mayes said. "We should trust black women to make these decisions for ourselves. We have to be unapologetic in our call for abortion access and in our call for reproductive health care."
From 4-6 p.m., there will be a Pittsburgh International Women's Strike rally at the City-County Building, Downtown.