Activists in St. Petersburg to join national Day of Action in opposition to abortion bans

Reproductive rights advocates will make a stand to protect abortion access

Photo op:
Demonstrators will be dressed in scarlet capes and white bonnets from The Handmaid’s Tale.

ST. PETERSBURG – The local Tampa Bay movement for reproductive freedom and justice is ramping up following Alabama’s passage of a total ban on abortion last week, and as a wave of other extreme laws stripping reproductive freedom sweeps the country — from Georgia to Ohio to Missouri to Texas. On Tuesday, May 21 at 12 noon in downtown St. Petersburg, Progress Florida, in partnership with Pinellas NOW and the St. Petersburg League of Women Voters is joining in the National Day of Action to Stop the Bans, with other events to take place throughout the week.

Reproductive rights supporters from throughout the Tampa Bay area will gather at the St. Petersburg Judicial Building (545 1st Ave North), a location chosen to highlight the crucial role courts play in keeping abortion safe and legal.

This day of action comes at a critical juncture in the fight for reproductive freedom and justice, as anti-abortion politicians push laws infringing on personal decisions that should be left to women and their doctors, compounded by President Donald Trump’s stacking of the U.S. Supreme Court and federal judiciary with justices who are hostile to Roe v. Wade. 

The St. Pete protest will feature speakers from host groups as well as Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, along with dozens of women dressed in scarlet capes and white bonnets. These uniforms mirror the dystopian society depicted in The Handmaid’s Tale -- the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, as well as the mini-series on Hulu.

"The sexism and anti-woman rhetoric seen in Atwood's fictional work is beginning to feel eerily familiar," said Amy Weintraub, Reproductive Rights Program Director for Progress Florida. "After the recently passed abortion bans, it’s clear that the time is now to loudly call out all policies that rollback reproductive rights, or else we risk starring in a real-life version of 'The Handmaid’s Tale'.”