Walk for a Choice – Elon News Network

Updated October 4, 2021 at 11:00 p.m. to include the video.

Thousands of people gathered in women’s marches in Washington DC and across the country on Saturday to demonstrate in favor of a wide range of issues, including women’s rights, health care reform, reproductive rights and LGBTQIA+ rights.

Walk in response

Women’s marches across the country, such as the Rally for Abortion Justice in Raleigh, were in response to abortion legislation passed by the Texas Legislature this spring and taking effect in September.

The law states that any pregnancy in which a heartbeat is detected cannot be aborted and limits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. However, many people often don’t know they are pregnant until the six weeks are up.

The law does not make exceptions for rape, sexual abuse or incest, according to the Washington Post. The legislation also allows individuals to sue an abortion provider or other person if they are suspected of “aiding and abetting” abortions after six weeks.

Elon University archivist Libby Coyner said the marches taking place across the country this weekend represent a pushback against legislation enacted by the Texas Legislature and there will be a lot of talk. on how states, like North Carolina, are developing abortion laws and the courts. , like the Supreme Court, enforce abortion laws.

On the ground

Juniors Kasey Fountain and Juliana Schiano marched at the Rally for Abortion Justice in Raleigh to show their solidarity and support for women and reproductive rights.

Fountain said seeing her friends in high school without access to medical resources, such as contraceptive pills, inspired her to walk. Planned parenthooda non-profit organization that provides reproductive health care in the United States and around the world, has seen a decrease in funding from the Trump administration, which has impacted young people’s access to life-saving information and reproductive security support.

“Women I know personally, friends of mine in high school, found themselves without access to their birth control, without access to contraceptives because it was their only way to get it,” Fountain said.

Schiano said she was inspired by the march after seeing the first Women’s March in 2017.

“It’s just something that I’ve always been passionate about and wanted to do…” Schiano said. “I think I’ll be very angry with myself if in 20 years I can’t look back and say I did something and fought for what I believed in.”

Being surrounded by other women’s rights activists and reproductive rights advocates at the rally inspired Fountain. She said seeing a man holding up a sign with a drawing of Princess Leia from Star Wars with the words “We are the resistance” particularly moved her.

“It’s really inspiring to see so many women and men, especially men, supporting here, and I think that’s great,” Fountain said. “There’s also been a lot of talk about non-binary and trans rights and that’s been great.”

Gerri Goldstein stood alongside her daughter and granddaughter in downtown Raleigh on Saturday. Molly Ruiz, a freshman at Elon and granddaughter of Goldstein, brought three of her friends to the walk after hearing about it from her grandmother.

“I’m so proud of her,” Goldstein said. “And yet, I’m so angry that we’re walking on the same things we walked on when I was his age.”

Lucy Hewitt, a freshman at Elon and a friend of Ruiz, said when she and her friends found out about the legislation in Texas, the four women met and expressed how heartbroken they were.

“We don’t want other states to see Texas as an example, we want people to see this demonstration as what’s going to happen when they try to do this,” Hewitt said.

Monica Dongre, mother of two young boys, was accompanied by her friends on the steps of the North Carolina History Museum holding signs saying “Who Runs the World?” and “Do you have any rights?” Dongre said she was at the rally with her friends to advocate for the reproductive rights of the next generation after her.

“For me, it’s really, really important to see them grow up in a world where women are considered equal,” Dongre said. “I am a working woman, I am a lawyer, and much of who I am today is due to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I stand on her shoulders and on the shoulders of many women before me. It is important to me that my children continue to live in a world where this is the norm rather than the exception.

Outside Bicentennial Square in downtown Raleigh stood another group of protesters who still stood for women’s rights but believed life begins at conception.

Amy Lawson, one of the protesters, said she came out because she still wanted women to feel empowered, but disagreed with abortion.

We came to this march because we love women, and we want women to be respected and we want women to be empowered, Lawson said. “I came because pro-life is pro-women because we stand up for women’s rights from conception to natural death and I stand by that and I want people to understand the importance of life lyrics and give everyone the opportunity to enjoy life to the full.”

Check out our coverage in Washington DC below:

Lawson also said she was happy to see people were there from a place of love and thinks that’s what fighting for human rights is all about.

Being surrounded by other women’s rights activists and reproductive rights advocates at the rally inspired Fountain. She said seeing a man holding up a sign with a drawing of Princess Leia from Star Wars with the words “We are the resistance” particularly moved her.

“It’s really inspiring to see so many women and men, especially men, supporting here, and I think that’s great,” Fountain said. “There’s also been a lot of talk about non-binary and trans rights and that’s been great.”


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