How Emiliana Guereca and the Women’s March Foundation Are Fighting for Women’s Rights
Emiliana Guereca founded the Women’s March Foundation to advocate for women’s rights, human rights, and reproductive rights, growing it from a Los Angeles-based group to a national movement. In the wake of the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, the foundation continues to fight against abortion restrictions and promote women's healthcare across the United States.


July 6, 2024 - Emiliana Guereca started the Women’s March Foundation to protest the election of Donald Trump as president in 2016. She helped organize one of the largest protest marches in the country’s history the following year. Since then, the foundation has grown nationally – it started as a Los Angeles and Southern California-based group – and has become an advocacy group for women’s rights, human rights, and reproductive rights.
Bringing attention to the overturning of Roe versus Wade by the Supreme Court was a reminder that women’s rights in America are being stripped away. The bans and restrictions on abortions in parts of the country is an attack on women’s rights. It’s a move that set back women’s rights 50 years, she said. It is also an attack on health care for women and health care for infants and children.
The event in Los Angeles to mark the anniversary of the overturning of Roe versus Wade attracted some heavy hitters. Senator Alex Padilla, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and prominent members of Congress attended and spoke at the event. It was a coordinated effort, with similar gatherings in other cities in Colorado, Illinois and Texas, and throughout the United States.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade two years ago, 14 states, led by Republican governors and legislators, have passed heavy restrictions on abortions. Three more states have changed their abortion and reproductive laws to put restrictions on access to care and medical procedures.
The Women’s March Foundation wants to change the direction the country is in regarding abortion restrictions, women’s health care, and women’s rights.
California has not changed laws restricting abortion and reproductive care for women. And in traditionally conservative states, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio, voters have passed amendments to their state constitutions guaranteeing abortion rights for women.
But the work to preserve and protect women’s rights is what Guereca calls a lifetime commitment. She plans to continue bringing attention to women’s rights and healthcare issues for a long time.
Tim Haddock, co-host of Santa Clarita Weekly, sat down with Emiliana to discuss the second anniversary of Roe v Wade, the Women’s March Foundation, and the fight for women’s rights.
Tim Haddock: I wanted to find out about the organization. It's the Women's March Foundation, right? Women's March Foundation? Okay. And it's a national organization. I wanted to ask about how it's organized nationally, if it's organized regionally, and how you... fit into that organization and how much work are you doing to make the LA chapter, the LA, the Southern California region grow?
Emiliana Guereca: Right, right, right. So I'm the president and founder of Women's March Foundation. Women's March Foundation is started in the late 2016, right after... President Trump was elected and we decided to organize a march that we took place in 2017. And we are based out of Los Angeles. I understood at the time that we needed to continue to organize beyond the one day march.
We are part of that big movement, the organization that is considered the national organization Forum of all of this is Women's March Inc. And we collaborate, we work together as much as possible across the country. I am president of Women's March Foundation. We have chapters within chapters. We've got, you know, if someone wants to organize, we will help them organize. Our whole goal and mission is to make sure that women's issues are at the forefront. that we advocate that there's advocacy for women beyond the One Day March and that we continue to speak on women's equality, women's equity around all of the issues. And the realistic part is that every issue is a women's issue. And most people don't think about that. But after the fall of Roe on June 24th, 2022, we know that it is even more imperative to continue to talk on why women are not equal and now even less closer to equal is where we're at. So the fall rule meant that we no longer that there's no longer a federal right to abortion access in each state. And so Women's March Foundation really needed to speak on that and continue to advocate for that. Yes, we are based in California, but from here, we were one of the first states to enshrine abortion rights post the fall of Roe. So we make sure that we continue to speak on it, to advocate for it, and especially when we say that now, this right is left up to the states and is no longer left to the federal government, right?
With all of it. So then it is imperative that from California to D.C., that all women continue to advocate for reproductive rights across the country. But not only that, just because we have it in California doesn't mean that we don't also help our sisters fight for that same right in different states. We've done it successfully in Kansas. We've done it successfully in Oklahoma, and we will continue to do so. Let me ask a couple questions because I want to get a little more specific about the goals of the organization. Recently, this was just a couple weeks ago, your organization led a rally in Los Angeles. You went down to City Hall. Was it City Hall? City Hall. City Hall. Mm-hmm. And you organized a group to bring awareness to the, number one, the overturning of Roe versus Wade, but more importantly, to bring attention to, like you said, the fight for women's rights and the fight for human rights, which is essentially what this is all about too.


Tim: Can you give me a little more details about what that rally was about? And was it... Was the turnout the way you want it?


Emiliana: I'm going to pull it back a little bit. It wasn't a rally. It was a press conference. So we organized a press conference to make sure that we commemorated the day, right? The press conference was really to raise awareness, mobilize support, and continue to demand action from our elected officials. But more than that, to mobilize voters. You know, the current situation is that women are in danger across the country with little to no access to reproductive rights. And so it was a press conference, but it was a call to action across the country. It wasn't just in L.A.
There were plenty of actions organized on that same date in different states from Colorado to Illinois to New York to definitely Texas and Austin. So part of it is part of that movement that needs to continue to raise awareness. And as our sign says, stay loud. So that there is no apathy. We're not going to go away. The issue of reproductive rights is not going to go away. The other part to it is that it's 2024. It is an election year. And currently there are abortion will be on the ballot in many different states, in Arizona, in Florida, Nebraska, among some of them. And so we have to continue to make sure that it is at the forefront when we think about voting in 2024, when we think about who we are electing in 2024 at our local, at our state and federal level, that we understand that reproductive rights are on the ballot across the country. So that was part of our press conference agenda.


Tim: So who was the audience then for the press conference? I mean, obviously, this is a national message you want to get out, but was it directed at anybody in particular?


Emiliana: The audience is everyone because reproductive rights affect everyone. But the other piece to it is that It's been politicized, right? Whether it's one party or the other party, why are women's rights politicized? Why should reproductive rights be a political agenda?


Tim: Got it. Another thing I wanted to ask you too is because I don't have a feel for how much this movement has grown. And it's been around for eight years now, seven, eight years. How have you seen it grow? And Is it going in the direction that you want it to? It's grown in a different way, right?


Emiliana: So what folks usually want us to do is to replicate what we did in 2017, which was the largest protest in history. We're beyond just protesting. We are now working into advocacy. We are now working into electing women into office. We are now working into, honestly, saving democracy more than anything. So it's grown in different directions. And as a grassroots movement, we take into consideration what each of the members would like to work on. Right. So at this point, we are all really coalescing and making sure that reproductive rights are protected across the country, going state by state, making sure it's on the ballot and making sure supporters are go out and mobilize on the issue. So it's grown in different formats. And I think it's going to continue to grow. The issue of reproductive rights is not going to go away. It is the fall of one of the first rights that I've grown up with in my lifetime from voting rights to now losing reproductive rights. We think it's critical that we continue to mobilize on the issue.


Tim: Okay. So since the press conference that you had, it's been a couple of weeks or a couple of weeks removed from that. What has been the reaction that you've seen and did you accomplish any of your goals?


Emiliana: Our goal is to continue to advocate and mobilize and stay loud on the issue.


Tim: Absolutely. Yes. Okay. And then to kind of further that, obviously you want to keep the momentum going, keep the attention going. on these issues. What is in the future for the organization? What have you got planned and where do you want to spread your message to next?


Emiliana: So if you go to our website,, you will be able to see other actions that we continue to engage in and advocacy from equal pay to childcare. We're currently working on a feminist street initiative, which is our third year. I believe and what we work on is naming streets after women, naming streets after women across the country from Missouri to New York to California, because women have always been powerful, but we've been invisible. As you know, most streets are named after politicians or folks that have served office and women, unfortunately, have not been at the seats of power for too long.
So we are invisible. in terms of streets. So we've launched Feminist Street Initiative. We're currently working on RBG in New York. We are working on a Dolores Huerta Street in Los Angeles. Among other streets, we've gotten a square named after her. So we do have advocacy campaigns. We do engage voters. We also have a program called Digital Divas, which is led by volunteers that fights misinformation on social media. So we do tend to be busy. It sounds like it. It sounds like it. And I don't think there would ever be, you'd ever run out of projects to work on. So, I mean, that's good and bad because there's a lot of work to be done, but it's all important work, right?


Tim: Absolutely.


Emiliana: And it's also a slow build. I mean, we cannot, we understand that it will, take longer than we plan to get to equal, right? So now we've been sort of set back decades by the Supreme Court ruling. So we must continue to advocate and we understand that it takes time to really see the change that we want to see, but it also takes work. And so we've rolled up our sleeves and continue to do the everyday work in the effort to get to equal.


Tim: Got it. Okay. And I don't have really any more questions, but I wanted to ask you if there is any personal relationship you have to this movement. Is there any reason why this movement became important to you, aside from being a woman and advocating for women's rights? Is there any other reason for it?


Emiliana: Well, I'm one of 13 kids. I am what most people and I consider the American dream, right? My parents... Came to the United States and truly, truly always believed that America is the greatest country. And so it is my part to help democracy to do that. But also not only because I'm a woman, because I think the world is better with when women are equal. The other piece is that when you look at history and you look at when democracies fail and there is no democracy, it fails women first. And that's personal to me. I want to make sure that that my kids, which I have two boys, that they also grow up with a future that makes sure that women are equal in the eyes of the law.


Tim: Right.


Emiliana: So I think that that's that's my biggest issue. And it's personal for me because I always thought I was equal. It wasn't until all of this. comes down. And again, the first, one of the first rights to be struck down in my lifetime, which I never thought would happen. I needed to make sure that I was in this fight for the generations to come.


Tim: Got it. And I guess just to wrap up, how long do you think you will be involved in this organization? Is this a lifetime commitment for you or do you have a, do you see a way out?


Emiliana: It's a lifetime commitment. It's a lifetime commitment. The reason for that is because we, been set back decades. We have. And so it's a lifetime commitment. And again, it is for the future generations. They should not get less rights than what I grew up with or what you grew up with. Our goal is to improve, not regress. And so it's a lifetime. And I think that most feminists and activists out there will tell you that this is the issue of our lifetime. All issues are women's issues. For more information on the Women's March Foundation, please visit

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