Students at More Than 50 U.S. Schools Expected to Participate in Abortion Walkouts

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On October 6, students at 59 universities, colleges, and high schools in 28 states are expected to walk out of their classrooms to participate in the nationwide Day of Student Action for Reproductive Justice.

The national event is organized by the Graduate Student Action Network (GSAN) and the Young Democratic Socialists of America and is open to the public. Interested participants can take an online pledge.

Instead of attending class, students are encouraged to mobilize their peers, teachers, and the masses behind demands for the right to abortion and freedom of gender expression. The strike is in response to congressional Democrats not pushing to suspend the filibuster to codify Roe v. Wade.

The event demands that schools and representatives protect the right to:

  • A safe, legal and accessible abortion
  • Gender-affirming health care
  • Free contraception of all kinds
  • Federally mandated sex education, including standardized curriculum on sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy prevention, as well as consent

As part of the effort, participants are encouraged to attend the Day of Action event on their campus if available, sign GSAN’s open letter to Congress and President Biden, lead teach-ins about abortion access and transgender rights, spread the word on social media about participation with hashtags #StudentStrikeOct6 and #BansOffOurBodies, and more.

Rachael Kuintzle, founder and co-chair of GSAN and a PhD student at the California Institute of Technology, told Teen Vogue in an interview that the Day of Action is the first step in a series in the following months, years, and decades to change national institutions. “Young people have two options at this moment: To become disillusioned and feel like they don’t have the power to change the institutions that are causing all these problems, or to work alongside others to take collective action to build toward change,” she says.