Undeterred by rainy weather, nearly 300 folks turned out at Dallas City Hall on Monday for a rally to support pro-choice rights.
Dallas joined other marches and rallies in cities across Texas as part of a national "day of action," in response to the Texas legislature's passage of a controversial bill banning abortions after 20 weeks and imposing strict new standards on abortion providers and clinics.
Dallas' pro-choice community has been gathering steam for the past few weeks, said organizer Mia Dia, who helped coordinate Monday night's event. "We all have the same passion and anger about what has happened with this legislation," Dia said. "It's not good for women."
In the wake of the bill passage, filibustering Fort Worth state senator Wendy Davis has become a national figure who's raised nearly $1 million, is being eyed as a potential gubernatorial candidate, and is on the cover of Texas Monthly.
The Dallas event included speeches by activists, religious leaders and musicians, beginning with a rendition of the National Anthem performed by violinist Kevin Felton. Attendees carried signs and chanted together. "This is offensive to all women and that's 50 percent of the population," one speaker said.
A few pro-life supporters lingered on the sidewalk in front, trying to interrupt the momentum by shouting; but eventually, they left.
After a performance by musician SuZanne Kimbrell, anyone who wanted to speak got their chance during an open-mic session.
"Our goal was to bring together people who are passionate to organize so we can defeat those lawmakers in November," Dia said. "We're getting a strategy together to say that this is not working for us."