Kentucky NOW rally for women’s reproductive rights
More than 100 people marched and protested in downtown Lexington Saturday to voice concern about women’s reproductive rights.
The rally, organized by the Kentucky chapter of the National Organization for Women, started at the courthouses on Main Street and included a march through downtown.
“Raise your fist. Raise your voice. Kentucky is pro-choice,” participants chanted. “Not the church, not the state, we must decide our fate.”
Scores of similar events were held across the country this week in opposition to the abortion bans some states have adopted. Last Tuesday was styled the “National Day of Action to Stop the Bans.”
Earlier this year, the Kentucky legislature passed bills to restrict abortions sought because of the fetus’ gender, race or disability and to prohibit abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The ACLU is suing over the bills, and a judge has blocked them from taking effect.
“Roe v. Wade is under attack in various states, including Kentucky,” said Karen Conley, who helped organize Kentucky NOW’s rally Saturday. “...There’s a possibility that each state could have a choice to pass legislation that would highly limit Roe v. Wade. ...They’re not putting any exemption for rape or incest. It’s just atrocious.”
Conley said NOW was also collecting signatures for a petition to stop the bans to be delivered to Rep. Andy Barr.
Rikka Wallin, who serves as a full-time caregiver for her father, said the cause is so important to her that she hired a caregiver to come in and help out so she could attend the rally.
“Women should have the right to do whatever they want with our bodies,” she said. “The same people that want to regulate our wombs don’t want to regulate water, air, guns, children’s health care.”
Several women who are part of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Chorus attended the rally dressed as the suffragists who fought for women’s right to vote.
“They are taking away rights that have already been given to us,” said Sylvia Coffey of Frankfort. “We do not want that. We are not going back.”