Hundreds Join Women’s March in Downtown Santa Barbara

By Lauren Bray, edhat staff

On the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, hundreds of people gathered on January 22 for the 7th annual Women’s March.

Filling into De La Guerra Plaza in downtown Santa Barbara for a rally before the march, organizers discussed the Supreme Court overturning the landmark case providing women’s healthcare and federally protected access to abortions, but stressed the issues are bigger than Roe itself.

Local organizers with “Women’s March Santa Barbara” joined the nationwide movement to host a rally under the banner of “Bigger than Roe” stating the march is also for Transgender rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and social, racial, and gender equality. 

“We march for ourselves and everybody else. We need to show ourselves in one way or another to the rest of the community,” said Women’s March Santa Barbara organizer Michal Lynch.

Photo: Women’s March Santa Barbara

Speakers ranged from California State Assembly members, Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees, representatives from local nonprofits such as the Pacific Pride Foundation and Planned Parenthood, and local leaders and educators.

“We must take action now, before more of our rights and the rights of our sisters in other states are taken away,” said Paula Lopez, president of Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee. “Today, we put our politicians on notice. If you come for our families, if you come for our freedoms, if you come for our rights, you come for our future, and we are coming for your seat.”

There was also a performance by World Dance for Humanity and an array of booths from local groups such as The Fund for Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Women”s Political Committee, Society of Fearless Grandmothers, Santa Barbara Crafivists for Change, and Standing Together to End Sexual Assault,      

Organizers led the group for a march down State Street filled with chants and clever signs including, “I got 99 problems and white heteronormative patriarchy is all of them” and “Men with control issues should be in therapy, not the government.”

Photo: Women’s March Santa Barbara

On a national level, the Women’s March held about 200 events across the country, including its main march this year in Madison, Wisconsin. Planned Parenthood’s supporters are focused on the states, hosting rallies in state capitals and educational trainings aimed at reducing the stigma of abortion.

Vice President Kamala Harris has also pushed for national legislation to protect abortion rights and touched on it during a speech in Tallahassee, Florida on Sunday, a state that bans most abortions after 15 weeks. 

“We will continue to stand together in the fight to protect the freedom and liberty of all people, of all women everywhere,” said Vice President Harris. “Here now, on this 50th anniversary, let us resolve to make history and secure this right.”

The whole Santa Barbara event could possibly be summed up by a young girl marching with her family carrying a small sign that read, “The Future is Female.”

Crowd gathering at De La Guerra Plaza for the Women’s March on January 22, 2023 (Photo: Women’s March Santa Barbara)



Written by lauren

Lauren is the Publisher of She enjoys short walks on the beach, interesting facts about bees, and any kind of homemade cookie.

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  1. Because in their insatiable pursuit of power and money our elected leaders would rather incite us against each other and use that divisiveness to extract our support for a given “cause” with no intention of actually addressing that “cause” in a meaningful way. Example 1) in 2009 Dems had control of the Senate, House and White House, yet didn’t put forward the Freedom of Choice Act, something Obama supported during his campaign for President “The first thing I’d do, as president, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do”. Once elected and with his party having the majority of both houses, the Freedom of Choice Act became “not the highest legislative priority.” (actual quote).

  2. Yeah, I didn’t spin squat. You’ve repeatedly denied these types of legislation exist and your comment at 4:53 essentially calls this article clickbait, thereby demeaning it and devaluing its importance. Again, living in Fantasy Land…. or more likely, White Male Land where women’s rights are just a frivolous nuisance. Gals being gals, amma right?
    Remember the saying “if it bleeds it leads”? – and yeah, that’s really classy given the context. Yep, what a guy!

  3. VoR: I don’t really understand what you’re saying. Are you implying that the focus on abortion rights is some media gimmick? Try telling that to a woman who got assaulted and is now pregnant in the south. Or an underage girl who is a victim of incest. Or even just a young woman trying to focus on building a career and life but who now needs to become a mother because the govt is imposing their religious beliefs. You have the luxury to laugh it off, they don’t. They are victims of the “big government” you constantly rant against. Are they also going to help these reluctant mothers? Are you or the other cons going to? NO. Get a clue, kook.

  4. I think what I was saying is clear, the people we’ve entrusted to address abortion rights on a federal level haven’t, even when opportunities arose. Instead they were more concerned about their political careers, how it would impact their next election, and how well it helps fund raising and engaging voters. That goes for both parties. One of many issues they’d rather keep fighting about rather than reach across the isle and address in way that’s best for their constituents.

  5. “This thread started off with a question by Sacjon: “How are we still marching and rallying to protect the rights of women and other groups that have been disenfranchised by the right through religious and/or fear (hate) based legislation?” Which I accurately answered in the very next post”” – 100% lie. You not once answered the question. You instead turned it around and blamed Obama, while at the same time maintaining that articles about women’s rights and LGBQT rights are clickbait. You never once explained why the right is disenfranchising these groups.
    All you’ve done here, once again, is deflect/whatabout, lie about the fact that you’re doing it and then have the balls to sit here repeating that these articles are just meant to divide us, driven by some media conspiracy or some bs. Dude, you are 100% wrong in everything you say here today. Not an ounce of truth or honesty.

  6. SacJon: Please allow others to have a different opinion and point of view. I won’t say that you are incorrect, but your comments/reactions quite often are confusing to some of us reading them. Many of your comments include questions, which require responses. You ask for “proof” when someone provides an opinion. You ask for clarifications. You even once said you wanted to know the ZIP codes of those who responded unfavorably toward your “position” on something insignificant to most others. When you don’t like a response, you double-down by name-calling or worse.
    Life is simple if you just let other people have their own thoughts, opinions, point of view. If someone wants to eat KFC with ice cream, donuts, and chocolate bars….don’t worry about it….leave it alone. Some of us do not have that long to live, so we just want to live how we want to live…..not how someone else thinks we should live.

    • Babycakes, exactly how is SacJon or anyone else able to disallow others’ having or expressing opinions on this site?
      Oh, not at all?
      Be honest, you just don’t agree with his politics, stop pretending like you’re coming from some sort of freedom of speech or live and let live position–you aren’t.

    • ALEX – I agree it’s hopeless with some here, but I try to hold out hope for others like CHIP, who can actually have a discussion without running away or deflecting. Voice is getting closer each day to the hopeless group though.
      Honestly, I know I comment a LOT here and I get plenty of crap for doing so, but for me, it’s a way to keep my mind alert as I’m getting older. I actually enjoy researching issues I didn’t know about and going back and forth, to an extent. The constant “hate, insults and condescension” spewed from many here though, becomes exhausting. Funny thing is, despite the repeated claims that only us lefties do it, it goes both ways. FOND, COAST, SBLOCAL, all are proficient at proving that claim false on a daily basis.

    • BABY – I’ve never told anyone they can’t have a different opinion here. I’m simply asking, ad nauseum, for VOICE to respond to my very simple question (not on my if you can’t comprehend it). I’m not bashing anyone’s opinion, other saying it’s pretty messed up to suggest any media coverage of women and LGBQT rights is merely click bait. Do you agree?
      Here’s my simple question, again. See if you can help. VOICE refuses to. – Why are we still having to protest legislation by the Right that attacks and attempts to degrade the rights of women and the LGBQT community? I didn’t ask why Roe v Wade wasn’t more protected, I asked about legislation from the Right that is targeting women and LGBQT members.
      THAT is my question. VOICE blamed Obama and then called it click bait. How is that an answer? It’s not. It’s not that I “don’t like the response,” it’s that it was pure deflection and avoidance followed by repeated condescension.
      NOTE: my question about ZIP codes was rhetorical and I never “demanded” a response.
      So yeah, go ahead and defend VOICE all you want. You’ve missed the point here, clearly. I don’t give a rat’s behind if you eat KFC with chocolate. Why do you and your ilk care so much about who people sleep with or dress as or do with their own bodies when their life or future is at risk? You righty’s keep saying your the holier than thou “let everyone do what they want” party, yet your the ONLY ones constantly defending legislation aimed at STOPPING people from doing what they want, or more accurately, need to do.

    • SacJon: There’s not enough time in a day, or lifetime for that matter, to provide answers to all of the questions put forward. At some point one would have to realize that when they ask/ask/ask “ad nauseum” and do not receive the answer they want, that it’s time to….stop? quit? move on? give in? When one discovers and admits that it is “exhausting” to correct, point out, disagree, and so on, maybe….give it a rest? change the subject? be the “adult” in the room? Maybe think about cutting down on the volume of responses (most would agree that making 30% of the total comments would constitute a “takeover”).
      Anyway, it’s great to have you on this board, and certainly no one (NO ONE) wants to silence your voice!

    • What’s funny to me is the commenters on either side of the political aisle are blaming one another for the same things. It’s hard for me to take what you say seriously Baby given what you’ve posted on this forum. This is a community website designed for dialogue and discussion. We’re all allowed to have our opinions, and others are allowed to have their response to those opinions, and so on and so on. So complaining that someone had a response you didn’t like is moot. Jon is not in charge of edhat, he’s not the one who “allows” other opinions, he’s merely responding to them. Just as you, and voice, and Alex, and basic, and all the other “loud voices” on edhat.

    • BABY – You’re right. I too often allow VOICE to drag me into an endless back and forth. I’ve yet get an answer to any question posed to him at any time in the history of this website, so yes, my bad for not being the adult.
      I look forward to you giving him the same lecture. It’s definitely not a 1 way street here.

    • “did not receive the answer they want” – Lol. No. That’s like me asking, “What time is it?” and then someone responding, “Obama doesn’t like day light savings.” That’s not an “answer” to the question. So, how can I “not like the answer” when the response isn’t related to the question?

    • “Many of your comments include questions, which require responses. You ask for “proof” when someone provides an opinion. You ask for clarifications. ” – Yup, that’s how a dialogue/argument/discussion/debate works.
      If you put forth a claim as fact, I expect (as any grown adult would) you to provide some evidence backing that claim. If we devolve into simply blabbering out statements as “facts,” then what’s the purpose of having comments? That’s what separates us from Facebook or other word vacuums. I love Edhat for this reason – it’s a group of (generally) mature and intelligent adults engaging in discussions and yes, sometimes arguments. It’s a forum for those who wish to keep wits sharp, learn new things, discuss relevant local issues and even national/global issue when appropriate. Why should we be satisfied with baseless statements being tossed around without accountability? There’s plenty of places for that on the internet, but not here.

  7. “Like how anyone here who dare critiques or questions the lefts “narrative” is automatically deemed a racist, MAGA loving, bigoted, far-right extremist?” – That isn’t what’s happening here. Stay on topic. Plus, if that were true, I’d be calling myslef an extremist. No, when you defend anti-abortion regulation by minimalizing media coverage of marches such as these, THEN we call you what you are. A bigot. An extremist. A misogynist. Lie all you want, but your words tell us what you are.

  8. Sac you’re extrapolating my comments to something that isn’t there and ignoring the words actually written. Case in point, the media comment was clearly not about the Edhat’s coverage of the Women’s March, Edhat isn’t one of the for profit media corporations I speak, which you know, yet choose to ignore so you can continue arguing.

    • inCoherent Coast – Being pro-choice isn’t being pro-death. Allowing women the right to get an abortion after rape or incest or when her life is at risk, is actually being pro-life – the “life” being the living, viable human mother. Funny thing is, I’m both pro-choice and pro-death penalty (under certain circumstances). I’m pretty conservative when it comes to violent crime, despite FONDOFSB and VOICE constantly saying I defend murderers and even “glorify crime.”

    • COAST – whatabout whatabout whatabout and off topic, but funny you bring up the Death Penalty. Even funnier is you try to say Pro-Choice people should be pro-Death penalty? Weird and nonsense logic but OK. So, answer us this: why are so many of you “Pro-Life” people also Pro-Death Penalty? How do you rationalize that one?

    • @Sanctimonious SacJon- For one, you have no clue of my position on abortion, just so happens I am in favor of the right to choose with limits… No abortions after six months. YES, it is only logical that one who is pro-choice would also feel the death penalty should be carried out against the covicted worst humans among us… It’s so convienent to pick and choose your morals eh….?

  9. VOICE – yeah yeah, we’re not talking about that comment. It’s your 4:53 comment, the one that’s not only in incredibly poor taste (“if it bleeds, it leads” in a story about abortion and women’s rights), but also implies that articles about women’s and LGBQT rights are valueless click bait. Retract it or explain it.

  10. not that you’re owed an explanation by any means, but the media profits when they get more clicks, likes, shares, views ,etc. They get more of those when they report on the sensational, the divisive, the horrific, the extreme – NOT the normal, the kind, the compassion, the unity. You know darn well what that media quote refers to, any sick and twisted misinterpretation of it is on you.

  11. A lot of misinformation and flat out lies in that post GT. Besides, Dems have shown they have no issue taking state control over our bodies (like mandating vaccines that don’t stop transmission as a condition of travel, employment, education, even to receive medical care has been proposed), contest and try and overturn fair elections (Russia Russia Russia), and ban books (specifically, both parties don’t want certain books available in public school libraries, but to call that ‘banning books’ is false, they are still available for sale or in the actual public library).

  12. Oh here goes VOR – we triggered him over the top. As usual taking a discussion about sexuality or race and moving to his twisted view of virology and other typical what-about-isms to suit the agenda he came here to disrupt with. And you are wrong VOR – books are being removed from public libraries by your far-right network – and some public libraries being threatened to be shut down or not funded at all. They say they aren’t for big government unless it is to control women’s bodies or tell you what you can read and think about.

  13. VOICE – you’re not fooling anyone. What you wrote was clear as day, you even said so. Words matter. We all see what you wrote and what you mean by it. If you didn’t mean what you wrote, you’d be explaining how we’re all wrong about you. Instead, you resort to deflection once again. Pathetic.

  14. You’re off the rails BigUgly and clearly have no idea who I support. My disgust and disappointment for politicians on many issues, including this one, has been bi-partisan. Unlike you GT and Sac who think Dems are perfect altruists and if only they had complete control then all these issues will be solved (while ignoring they’ve had complete control in CA for decades, and had complete control on the federal level the past two years, and many times in the past twenty).

  15. “Sac who think Dems are perfect altruists” – lol nope, never said that. You’re using your Voice-logic again. Just because I’m liberal and support things like a woman’s right to choose, doesn’t mean I think Dems are perfect, nor that they can solve the issues with complete control. You’re just blabbering nonsense as you backpedal and turn tail on your repeated claim that abortion rights articles are just inflammatory click bait, pushed on us by a solely “profit driven” media. Never mind that more than half the people in this country are either women, LGBQT or both and that these issues are of VITAL importance to them and should be for all of us, straight while males included.


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