Santa Barbara Women’s March



Have you ever been to a protest? Women’s marches and protests have been occurring in Santa Barbara for years. Marches for women’s reproductive rights started in 2017 when states decided that women were only able to get an abortion up until a certain amount of weeks in a woman’s pregnancy. As time went on, restrictions on women’s reproductive systems in their bodies have been limited even more, which caused a call to action for many protesters. 

January 22, 2023 marked the 50th anniversary of Roe  v. Wade. The court case, Roe v. Wade was added to the constitutional rights stating that any woman had the right to an abortion. Because of this, women were able to make their own choices about their body, without the government’s permission. Therefore, restrictive laws on abortion were unable to be enforced. 

Last year in June, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, leaving it up to each state legislator to decide if their state would legalize abortions or not. This created a lot of tension between the people who believed in pro-choice or pro-life. 

San Marcos Women’s Club president, Karla Flores, in regards to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, said, “The fact that it got overturned last year shows so much about our society right now on how we see problems in the past and we don’t fix them for the future. Instead, we go backwards. Instead of going back and overturning Roe. v. Wade, we should actually be fixing it and revising what had been done fifty years ago and going forth with it again, making it better.”

People gathered in downtown Santa Barbara for a Women’s March. Image courtesy of Candice Cugnier

As a way to object to the overturn of Roe v. Wade decision, demonstrators gathered in downtown Santa Barbara in January 2023. This movement took off at 11:00 AM with performers dancing and music playing at the De La Guerra Plaza. This march was named “Bigger than Roe.” The group of dancers, “World Dance for Humanity,” led the march up State Street at 12:30 PM where gatherers chanted and strongly held signs. People from different ethnicities, ages, and genders came together to march for women’s right to abortion. March speakers expressed their concerns about the new abortion regulations passed last year in hopes to restore abortion rights in the future. The march was also held not only in support for women’s rights, but also for equity, the Iranian movement protests, and LGBTQ+ rights. 

“I normally find out about Women’s Marches through social media or their website. Once you are there, it is typical for a few speakers to talk about some relevant issues related to feminism, and then you march!” Said San Marcos junior, Sophia Torrey.

There are many sources and accounts online that post the dates, times, and meeting locations for Women’s Marches in Santa Barbara and all around the world. A simple search of “Women’s Marches near me,” will result in many resources that inform you on upcoming marches. By showing up to protest, we can show our support and stand in solidarity with protestors to make a difference.