WASHINGTON – Most politicians aren’t medical experts,so women have to stand up for their reproductive rights,Bonnie Grabenhofer,vice president of the National Organization for Women,said on the eve of the large anti-abortion march.
A group of women gathered around a table in the organization’s office Wednesday night to decorate posters.
They plan to rally Thursday at the Supreme Court to raise awareness about reproductive rights and to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade,the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. March for Life will end its march there.
Terry O’Neill,NOW president,said the organization hasn’t hosted a poster decorating event like this in years. She said she thought it was a good time to get the public involved because this way they can bond before the rally.
“We’re going to have our hands full during the rally,” Grabenhofer said.
She and other NOW staff advised pro-abortion rights activists to not engage with the “anti-choicers” and to walk away from hostile environments.
“We’re there to celebrate at the end of the day,” Alyssa Seidorf,national campus organizer for the Feminist Majority Foundation,said.
Roe v. Wade was a major breakthrough for reproductive rights,Grabenhofer said. But she said the fight isn’t over.
Republican House leaders dropped a vote scheduled for Thursday on a bill that would have banned abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy,the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
“While abortion after 20 weeks may make some of us uncomfortable,we can all agree that a woman’s health,not politics,should drive important medical decisions,” Grabenhofer read from a copy of a December email from the political strategy research firm Lake Research Partners.
The polling firm found that 78 percent of those polled agreed with the statement she read.
Grabenhofer said that assertion is not supported by scientific research.
The bill was shelved for now because of objections that it did not provide exceptions for unreported rape and incest.
Kandi Doming,30,an archaeologist from Dallas,and her friend Teresa Rushing,35,a Libertarian Party employee from Arlington,traveled from Texas to D.C. to attend the rally because of their support for Roe v. Wade.
Over snack food and poster decorating supplies,Doming,Rushing and others brainstormed for poster message ideas: “You are not my doctor” and “If you cut off my reproductive choice,can I cut off yours?”
The messages work,Seidorf said,as long as the words on the poster are big enough to be seen from the street.
Reach reporter Jordan Gass-Pooré at [email protected] or 202-408-1490. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire. Like the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire interns on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.