WASHINGTON — A Southwest Airlines flight transporting a number of men and women to the “Women’s March” on Washington on Thursday reportedly turned the cabin lights pink to show support for those attending the event, which was largely pro-abortion and feminist.
“Southwest turns on the pink lights and a loud cheer erupts. #WomensMarch” Jennifer Moran, who was aboard the flight, Tweeted, sharing a photo of the illuminated cabin.
Passenger Krystal Parrish likewise posted a photo to Instagram writing, “When your Southwest flight crew celebrate a plane full of [expletive] women and men going to the Women’s March by lighting it up!!”
Southwest Airlines has since released a statement outlining that the move wasn’t a company effort, but that individual flights often change the lighting as a statement of support for passengers.
“While we’re unaware of details surrounding a specific flight, our flight crews celebrate, commemorate, acknowledge and share in special moments with our customers all the time,” it said.
“Some of our aircraft are equipped with mood lighting and while this was not a companywide initiative, at times, our flight crews will adjust the lighting for a customer or group of customers traveling on their flight,” the company explained. “For example, in October, one of our flight crews changed the lighting to honor a breast cancer survivor onboard their flight.”
According to reports, hundreds of thousands attended the march in Washington, which included speeches and appearances from secular celebrities such as Madonna, Cher, Alicia Keyes, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, Whoopie Goldberg, Scarlett Johannson, Natalie Portman, Emma Watson, Drew Barrymore, Lena Dunham, Vanessa Hudgens, and many others.
Some held signs such as, “We deserve to be sexual and serious, or whatever we please,” “I stand with Planned Parenthood,” “Our bodies, our minds, our power” and “I am woman, hear me roar.” Some were too explicit or profane to repost—using profanity or vulgarity—and some referred to President Trump as the “predator in chief.”
Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, was one of the speakers at the event.
“For the majority of people in this country, Planned Parenthood is not the problem, we’re the solution,” she claimed. “My pledge today is: our doors stay open.”
One of the march organizers, Linda Sarsour, is a Muslim and a supporter of Planned Parenthood. Sarsour, who serves as the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, stated that the potential defunding of the organization was one of the main messages of the Women’s March, along with her concerns about the treatment of Muslims.
“[H]ands off the Affordable Care Act—we need our health insurance, hands off Planned Parenthood and our reproductive rights, hands off Muslims, hands off the undocumented. These are really our top messaging lines,” she told MSNBC last week.
Abortion was likewise one of the “unity principles” outlined on the march website, and only those who aligned with these principles were allowed to sponsor the event.
“We believe in reproductive freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education,” the site reads.
Even though they were not allowed to serve as sponsors because of because of their disagreement with the “reproductive rights unity principle,” a number of women who identify as “pro-life feminists” also took to the streets of Washington to counter the abortion advocacy message, holding banners and signs such as “Abortion betrays women” and “Real feminists reject abortion.”
The Huffington Post reports that some attendees cussed at the pro-life women, while others thanked them for their participation.
In addition to support for abortion, other unity principles for marchers included immigration rights, environmental justice and “LGBTQIA rights.”
“We firmly declare that LGBTQIA rights are human rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters and siblings. We must have the power to control our bodies and be free from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes,” the website for the event reads.
Similar marches were stated to have been held in cities across the nation, as well as internationally.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Tweeted in support of the effort, writing, “Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values @womensmarch. Important as ever. I truly believe we’re always stronger together.”