Students organize carpool to protest for abortion rights

Protesters will meet up on Wednesday in FAU Lot 4 to carpool to the protest, which takes place in front of the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.


Emily Slater makes and sells $25 tank tops and T-shirts with sayings about reproductive freedom. All the proceeds go toward Miami Planned Parenthood and the Women Empowerment Fund.

Kendall Little, Editor-in-Chief

After the United States Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade on June 24, ending the constitutional right to abortion and leaving abortion laws up to the states, students Emily Slater Michaela Clark knew they wanted to make their voices heard.

To help get other students involved, they found an upcoming protest and organized a carpool for anyone in the FAU community.

Slater, social media marketing major, and Clark, political science major, are inviting others to meet them in Lot 4 on the Boca Raton campus on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. From there, the group will carpool together to the “We Won’t Go Back” protest in Fort Lauderdale. Lot 4 is across from FAU Stadium and Innovation Village Apartments South.

“I think that having protests not only accomplishes getting the voice out there but it also unites people,” Clark said. “A lot of people are trying to get across that it’s not a red versus blue problem. It’s an overseeing, tyrannical, corrupt government problem and that’s been bringing people out of the woodworks to support something regardless of their political party.”

While Florida currently allows abortions until 15 weeks into a pregnancy, some fear the state may attempt to instate a complete ban. Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted in support of pro-life reforms after the SCOTUS decision.

“I think that speaking out now and showing all the politicians that are currently in office that we will not vote for them or support them until we know for a fact that they will support us in making sure that [abortion access] stays safe and legal in this state,” said Slater.

Jane Caputi, a women, gender, and sexuality studies professor at the university, said abortions need to remain available for many reasons including physical and psychological health.

“Pregnancy is not something that is necessarily easy,” Caputi said. “It can be traumatic for many women. I think it is very deleterious to women’s health, psychological and physical, to not be able to make a choice over if she wants to be pregnant and have a baby.”

That’s why Clark and Slater want to bring as many people as they can to Fort Lauderdale to protest at the courthouse.

“You might think that your voice is small compared to everyone else that’s out protesting but you’ll still be heard,” Slater said. “You still have the right to show people that you believe in something and you have the ability to fight for it.”

Caputi echoed Slater’s sentiment, explaining that those who are able to protest should do it not only for themselves but for others who are unable to.

“I think everyone who really strongly feels that they need to speak out in favor of their rights should become an activist one way or another,” Caputi said. “We may not all agree on this topic, but those who are seeking abortion care and consider their this human rights should be able to speak out on that and become proactive – not only for their own individual self, but for others who share the demand for those rights.”

The university’s chapter of the National Organization for Women is supporting Slater and Clark’s carpool protest and wants students to know that their leadership team is there for anyone who needs support.

NOW Director of Communications, Logan McGraw, urged students to band together in the coming weeks.

“There’s so many people who care about this issue,” McGraw said. “So you are not alone. As cheesy as it may sound, I really do believe that through community action and working together that we can overcome this. It’s definitely not the end.”

Clark said any students planning to protest at the courthouse should follow a few safety protocols, including covering identifying tattoos and piercings.

“Make sure you’re wearing close-toed shoes and have sunglasses or something to cover your face in case something happens,” Clark said. “If you see something happen, don’t second guess yourself. Always have an escape plan of action just in case.”

Safety is a key reason as to why Clark and Slater planned the carpool. 

“A lot of people tend to get very nervous about the dangers that can occur at protests and it might lead them to not want to participate,” Slater said. “We hope that by having a carpool group, it can alleviate some of those worries by having people know where you are and having people waiting for you to make sure you’re okay.”

Slater wants students to know they can still show support if they decide not to participate in the protest. 

“It’s so important to let people know what’s going on with factual information,” she said. “I encourage everyone to check their sources when they’re posting things because the last thing we need is false information being spread.”

Slater recently started making and selling $25 tank tops and T-shirts with sayings about reproductive freedom on them. All the proceeds go toward Miami Planned Parenthood and the Women Empowerment Fund. 

One design says ‘keep your laws off my body’ and the other says ‘guns have more rights than my vagina.’

“While it’s very out there and makes people uncomfortable, I think that’s what needs to happen,” Slater said. “We need to start having uncomfortable conversations. So I designed them in a way that will get people talking.”

To sign up for the protest carpool, DM Slater or Clark on Instagram. 

Michaela Clark: @michaelachristal

Emily Slater: @emilyxslater


Kendall Little is the Editor-in-Chief at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @klittlewrites.