Protest organized for abortion rights

When the clock struck 2:40 on Monday, May 9, over 300 students got up and walked out of the school.
The students attended the Reproductive Freedom Walkout organized by Generation Ratify, a student-led movement for gender equality. Forty five Virginia schools, including Marshall, participated in the walkout.
“We [were] leading a walkout to defend the overturning of Roe v. Wade,” said vice president of Students Demand Action club and senior Serena Miller-Muro. “Recently there was a draft leaked that would reverse Roe v. Wade and allow people to cut off access to safe abortions, and it would harm mostly minority women.”
Miller-Muro was on a Zoom call with her fellow Generation Ratify leaders the night before the walkout where they discussed the logistics for the walkout and prepared for what to expect.
“‘My body, my choice, my freedom, my voice,’ really speaks to the fact that it’s just everybody’s individual right,” she said, referring to abortion access. “Everybody should have the option to choose. It’s their life and their body.”
Students who participated in the walkout were encouraged to wear green, the international color representing pro-choice beliefs.
“The color green really symbolizes life and the preservation of all women, and people with uteruses,” junior Gavin Sandall said. “It’s really important to have safe abortions.”
Despite not having a personal connection to the movement, Sandall said he attended the protest because he feels it is important to stand up for people who need access to this type of healthcare.
“The overturning of Roe v. Wade is just a complete violation of all human rights,” he said.
Junior Sara Porjosh described the debate on abortion as “ridiculous” because of its necessity to health care.
“[This debate] has been going on ever since I’ve been able to walk,” Porjosh said. “I feel like it shouldn’t have existed, and it’s not something that we should have fought and should have needed to fight for.”
She said she has high hopes for the change that this walkout can initiate.
“I’m sure things are going to be very difficult to happen at a federal level,” Porjosh said. “But I know that in walkouts and protests at the local level, the conversation changes.”
An FCPS regulation, which went into effect in 2020, allows students excused absences for civic engagement activities during the school day.