Rally, March for Abortion Justice in Bellingham, WA
About 500 people chanted âMy body, my choice! as women’s rights activists gathered outside Bellingham Town Hall at 2 p.m. on Saturday 2 October in a planned rally and march to show their support for abortion access across the country in light of recent legislation that effectively bans the procedure in Texas.
The crowd approached 1,000 at 2:30 p.m. as the program of speeches and songs was underway.
A handful of anti-abortion protesters were also on site, with one incident involving a confrontation they provoked, organizers said.
“This is a time of crisis, and it is not an exercise,” said a representative for Planned Parenthood as anti-abortion antagonists try to disrupt the rally.
âAt Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood, we are proud to offer abortion services,â she said, eliciting cheers from the audience. “Abortion care is health care.”
Among those in attendance were the band Raging Grannies, who sang âRoe, Roe, Roe v. Wade – we thought the deal was done. Truly, verily, verily, verily, our rights may soon disappear.
The event is one of more than 600 similar events sponsored by the Women’s March group across the country using the social media hashtag #RallyforAbortionJustice to highlight the restrictive measure in Texas and others being considered in several states, said local organizer Jessica Demorest from Bellingham.
After a short speaker program on Saturday, marchers carrying signs took to downtown sidewalks as the group did not have a parade permit.
Demorest earlier told the Herald that broad support is essential to reinforce the fact that most Americans believe in reproductive freedom as the United States Supreme Court begins its new term on Monday with several challenges to Roe v. Wade on his calendar.
âWe want to be sure that the Supreme Court sees all of us supporting access to the right to abortion,â she said. âWe are not going to be silent.
National Women’s March
The Biden administration’s first women’s march drew thousands in Washington, DC and other cities to demand continued access to abortion in a year when conservative lawmakers and judges alike have endangered.
Several thousand women filled a place near the White House for a rally before the march. They held up signs that read âTake care of your own wombâ, âI love someone who has had an abortionâ and âAbortion is a personal choice, not a legal debateâ, among other messages. Some wore t-shirts that read simply â1973,â a reference to the landmark Roe v. Wade, who legalized abortion for generations of American women.
Organizers say the Washington march will be one of hundreds of abortion-themed protests across the country on Saturday. The protests come days before the start of a new term for the Supreme Court that will decide the future of abortion rights in the United States, after judicial appointments by President Donald Trump tightened Tory scrutiny of the high court.
The march is part of a âstruggle to guarantee, safeguard and strengthen our constitutional right to abortion,â Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March, said in a statement. “And this is a fight against the Supreme Court justices, state lawmakers and senators who are not on our side – or are not acting with the urgency that this moment demands.”
The march comes a day after the Biden administration urged a federal judge to block the country’s most restrictive abortion law, which has banned most abortions in Texas since early September. This is one in a series of cases that will give the country’s divided high court an opportunity to uphold or overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Women’s March has become a regular event – albeit interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic – since millions of women traveled to the United States and around the world in the aftermath of Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. Trump endorsed the punishment of women for having abortions and made the appointment of conservative judges a mission of his presidency.
Without Trump as the central figure against whom to rally women of various political persuasions, and with the pandemic still strong, organizers spoke of hundreds of thousands of participants nationwide on Saturday, not millions of 2017.
– Associated press
This story was originally published 2 October 2021 13:58.