Socialist students prepare to strike for abortion access on Oct. 6

Socialist students are planning an Oct. 6 strike for abortion access .

Students are encouraged to cut class to join the nation wide protest.

The Graduate Student Action Network (GSAN) is organizing peaceouts, rallies, marches, resource fairs, and other events on their campuses on Thursday, October 6th to fight for reproductive justice,” according to the group’s website

Students can sign up for the "Day Of Student Action for Reproductive Justice” using a Google Form

“We are students taking action against the right-wing encroachment on abortion rights and free gender expression,” the signup form reads. 

“Our vision for reproductive justice includes universal, comprehensive sex education, access to contraception and abortion, access to gender-affirming care, and the right to safely give birth and raise children in safe communities," the form continues. "We are bringing the fight to our campuses on the Day of Student Action for Reproductive Justice (Oct 6, 2022).”

GSAN’s description asks students not attended classes on the day of the protest. 

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“We invite all students in the U.S. to… protect our rights to abortion… by not attending classes on Oct 6,” the event description reads. “Instead, students should spend the day learning about how to access abortion and why abortion and trans rights are essential for diversity and equity.”

The protest is in response to Texas passing “SB 8,” a bill that prevents abortions after a heart beat is detected and that was passed on the same day last year, according to the group.

The groups’ demands include “safe, legal, accessible abortions; gender-affirming care; free contraception; mandatory sex ed; and support from [their] schools administrators.”

“We are asking our schools to take immediate action to support repro health and free gender expression on campus” the GSAN posted on Twitter.

These demands will differ by school but include: “Plan B vending machines; all gender restrooms; abortion training for med students; and material support for student parents,” GSAN tweeted.

Students from over 30 schools in 20 states across the country have registered for the event, the graduate group claims. 

Among those who are bolstering GSAN’s event is Young Democratic Socialist's of America, which boasted on Twitter that it joined GSAN to plan strikes and protest. 

"We are organizing alongside [GSAN] for the #StudentStrikeOct6. Chapters across the country are planning strikes and protests against the ruling-class attacks on abortion and trans rights. We demand #BansOffOurBodies,” YDSA’s tweet reads. 

The Oct. 6 plans are also supported by Oliva Wood, “a writer and editor at Left Voice” and an adjunct English lecturer at CUNY. 

Wood's article, titled “Graduate Students Across the U.S. Are Organizing for Abortion Rights,” called on campus leaders to turnout for the strikes on October 6. 

“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,” Wood wrote

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When contacted by Campus Reform for comment, Wood replied an a lengthy explanation detailing why the October 6 event is important. 

“On the student side, student movements have a long, powerful history of making a difference in various fights for justice, as do student movements fighting on behalf of people in other states. Some of the schools participating in the Day of Action actively have their rights to an abortion under attack," Wood emailed Campus Reform. "Others, like CUNY… are in states where that is not currently a fear. Yet we still take up the obligation to fight for increased protections in our own locations and on behalf of our colleagues at other schools in other states, and around the world."

Wood also directed Campus Reform to one of her previous articles for Left Voice entitled “Abortion Rights Are a Labor Issue — Unions Must Fight for Them.” In the article, Wood argues that unions should fight for companies to cover the costs of employee abortions.  

GSAN is a “growing network of graduate students at over 50 schools in 30 states, started in June 2022 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson,” according to its mission statement.

“GSAN’s goal is to empower students to make and demand change for reproductive justice, LGTBQIA+ rights, wages and healthcare, anti-racism, climate justice and sustainability, anti-Imperialism and Indigenous struggles, and more, through student organization and mobilization” according to the group’s website.

Campus Reform reached out to GSAN and YDSA for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.