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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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Arts + CultureNightlife'Fight for Our Rights' party puts abortion access at...

‘Fight for Our Rights’ party puts abortion access at center of dance floor

DJ Heidi Lawden heads a huge lineup of women and femme-centric DJs at 1015 to raise funds in the wake of Roe's reversal.

Despite the bright spot in Kansas last week, when voters overwhelmingly turned out to reject a constitutional amendment to rescind reproductive rights, the news about abortion since the terrible Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade has been somewhere between confusing and god-awful.

Local nightlife is stepping up to help in a big way: “Fight for Our Rights: An Abortion Access Fundraiser,” August 19, 9pm-3am at 1015 Folsom, SF, features 25 brilliant femme-centric DJs and performers, from femmelectric to Girlz House, with 100% of the proceeds going to the National Network of Abortion Funds and Planned Parenthood.

“We could not stand idly by,” 1015’s CFO Mya Shone said in a press release, “as 35 million women and girls of reproductive age, as well as other people capable of pregnancy, living in nearly every Southern state and throughout the Midwest become unable to access essential abortion services. 1015 Folsom decided immediately to do what we do best—bring people together to create an exciting event.”

The headliner for this essential party, doubling as a showcase of the power and diversity of women and and femme-identifying people on the scene, is one of my favorite sunny house pumpers, LA’s DJ Heidi Lawden, who took some time off of touring and mothering to answer a few questions about her own reaction to Roe’s reversal and how nightlife can help.

48 HILLS How did you feel when Roe was reversed?

HEIDI LAWDEN Really shocked saddened but not completely surprised. The line of separation between Church and state in the US is becoming increasingly blurry. That in itself is another huge conversation. 

I wholeheartedly believe in a person’s right to chose when and whether they want to give birth. Abortion should not purely be linked to trauma or risk. We are violating rights of living people, and some cases we’ve seen recently are unfathomable.

A person’s right over their own bodily choices is absolutely something we must fight for. Speaking truth to power and holding those in the highest office to account is a privilege of living in a democracy. The paths we allow to be paved will shape our lives for decades to come, and the wrong decision (which I believe this to be) will lead to years of danger for many. 

48H What inspired you to play this party?

HL I was humbled at the ask, and even though it was a tricky date schedule wise for me to pull off personally, I was determined to be able to make it. Like everyone, I am affected by everything we see and read in the news. I am a mother. I worry for future generations, whose freedoms of choice are being removed. 

48H How do you feel nightlife can help with this fight, beyond fundraisers?

HL Awareness, awareness is key, and consistently speaking out to remove stigma. Nightlife has a history of rallying behind human causes and calling out/bringing awareness to human rights violations.

I’ve seen and been a part of us activating for many years to raise money and bring further awareness to many issues affecting marginalized communities. As long as I have been involved in nightlife, we have embraced the fight to better political and global human rights. As touring DJs, we often see first-hand countries facing issues we might not truly experience at home via news, etc., and interacting in real time in person.

Where we are more informed we are more willing to take action. Dancefloors are safe spaces and great uniters where we embrace our oneness while honoring our differences. We are typically a progressive lot that aren’t afraid to speak truth to power as our starting point. When we organize, that’s when real growth and change comes.

There are some great organizations doing the work safely (I’m aware that offering yourself up as any kind of safe house for recuperation could be open to abuse) and so consistently sharing and donating to them is something we can all do as a start: WRRAP, National Black Womens Reproductive Agenda, Abortion Care Network, and of course the ACLU who tirelessly fight in so many areas. 

FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS: AN ABORTION ACCESS FUNDRAISER happens Friday, August 19, 9pm-3am, at 1015 Folsom, SF. More info here.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Marke B.
Marke B.
Marke Bieschke is the publisher and arts and culture editor of 48 Hills. He co-owns the Stud bar in SoMa. Reach him at marke (at) 48hills.org, follow @supermarke on Twitter.

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