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PROTEST TIPS: It's Our Fight, Let's Do it Right

Are you pumped to show up for abortion rights? YES! When we turn our anger into collective action, we rise up together against the forces that want to take away our rights.

Before you head out, note that how you show up matters. Many words and phrases used to fight for abortion rights are stigmatizing, gendered, culturally ,insensitive and otherwise problematic. Here are tips on how to write signs that truly galvanize folks and represent the diversity of the abortion rights movement.

Want more tips? 

Signs and Slogans That Inspire Our Movement

Suggestions for signs:

Bans Off Our Bodies

Our Bodies, Our Futures, Our Abortions

Abortion is Health Care

Abortion is Essential

Abortion is a Right

Protect Abortion Access

Liberate Abortion

Suggestions for chants (call and response):

Abortion is our right! We won't give up this fight! 

Abortion is health care! We want it now! 

We are unstoppable! Another world is possible! 

Bans off! Our bodies!

Language and Symbols to Avoid

There are several slogans and symbols that we don't use because they are stigmatizing, divisive and counter-productive to the movement. 

  • Hangers: Coat hanger images represented deaths from self-managed abortions before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. But the anti-abortion movement twisted this symbol to associate all abortion with death. Let’s avoid stigmatizing abortion — especially self-managed abortion — and leave this outdated symbol OUT.

  • Heavy "pro-choice" messages: Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other people of color have been shut out of the health care system due to this country's legacy of racism and discrimination. As women of color in the Reproductive Justice Movement have made clear, "choice" wording is an affront to these communities because it suggests they have the same access as others. 

  • Handmaid's Tale references: For people who don't have access to abortion and other health care, bonnets and red capes can feel insensitive. Better option: Wear something that expresses your individuality and your freedom to make your own choices about your body. But lead with comfort —  wearing walking shoes and bringing rain gear in case of showers. 

  • Anti-abortion language or images: Steer clear of the opposition’s inaccuracies, misinformation, and harmful imagery. Otherwise, you are only advancing their propaganda and reinforcing stigma. Here are examples of good messaging.

To learn more about these guidelines, check out Liberate Abortion’s guide for advocates.

Word Wise: Dos and Don'ts

Whether you’re speaking up for abortion rights at a rally or online, be inclusive and supportive. Help people of all races and genders in this movement feel embraced, not excluded! 

Include gender-neutral language.

  • Don't just say  "women" — say “people.”  Trans men and nonbinary people need abortions, too. 

  • Don’t just say “girls” — say “children” or “young people”. Trans and nonbinary kids are in this movement, too.

  • “Pregnant person” is preferable to “mother.” People have unique relationships with their pregnancies and identify in a variety of ways. 

Remember: Gender-inclusive language doesn't leave women out. To the contrary, it ensures that we're clear: EVERYONE deserves access to abortion! 


Be specific and accurate.

  • Say “health center” or “abortion provider,” rather than “clinic.” A clinic is a specific type of health center, so only use it if the location calls itself a clinic. An abortion provider is a place or person that provides abortion.

  • Say “anti-abortion,” rather than “pro-life.” The term “pro-life” is intentionally misleading.

  • Say “abortion rights supporter” or “pro-abortion access,” rather than pro-choice. Remember that you really don’t have a choice if you don’t have access.

Want more tips? 

Check out how to Stay Safe at Abortion Rights Rallies

More Tips

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