Boulder Joins Nationwide Protests to Stop Abortion Bans

Abortion-rights advocates gathered at the Boulder County Courthouse Tuesday for a rally to protest a wave of laws passed by states in recent weeks to severely restrict access to abortions. KGNU’s Roz Brown says the protest was one of 500 across the nation triggered by last week’s near-total abortion ban in Alabama.


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    Boulder Joins Nationwide Protests to Stop Abortion Bans KGNU News


Pro-choice groups say the wave of anti-choice legislation is designed to bring the abortion issue before the U.S. Supreme Court, the most conservative bench in many years, in hopes of reversing the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. But Alexandria Lyon says the restrictive laws provide no safety net for a teenager who finds herself pregnant with a child she doesn’t want.

“If you get pregnant accidentally you need to think about it deeply, but sometimes you get raped and the man leaves you and you have no way to support your child financially,” said Lyon. “Women get into really tough situations where it’s cruel to force them to continue a pregnancy.”

Renee Albert spoke to the crowd and noted that women are singled out for all the penalties in the new laws while men shoulder no responsibility for their role in the pregnancy.

“In this country, forty-percent of divorced, absent dads don’t pay child support,” said Albert. “Of the sixty-percent who do, they pay more for their car payment than toward child support and Republicans in Alabama or in general are not addressing that problem.”

In addition to Colorado gatherings, a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. drew a number of Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination, including Kirsten Gillibrand of New York who called abortion bans, President Trump’s war on women, a sentiment echoed by Will who was attending the Boulder rally at Boulder’s Courthouse.

“It’s a war on women,” he said. “It’s a stripping of rights, it’s horrible, it couldn’t be worse.”

The new law in Alabama makes no exception in cases of rape or incest and authorizes prison sentences up to 99 years for doctors who perform abortions. Rainbow Schultz says it’s a game-changer that should terrify Americans.

“The law in Georgia that forbids women from leaving the state to seek an abortion and makes them property of the state terrifies me as to what door that opens,” said Schultz. “Then in Alabama, where you can’t get an abortion in the case of rape puts women in a new category where they don’t even have the same rights as dead people.”

The Alabama law is the most extreme legislation passed to date, but eight other states have also passed laws to weaken a woman’s right to abortion. Lisa Radelet with the Boulder Valley Health Center believes the current attacks on women’s reproduction rights go further than before Roe versus Wade.

“I think in some ways this is worse than before Roe v. Wade,” said Radelet. “There were laws then that weren’t as restrictive as these that make no exceptions and don’t take into account the health of the mother – which wasn’t true before 1973.”

Radelet noted that the Boulder health clinic is already seeing more women from Wyoming and other neighboring states seeking abortion services.

“The problem with these kind of bands is they disproportionally impact low-income and women of color which makes abortion prohibitive for them,” said Radelet.

Even though polls consistently show that Americans are more likely to be in favor of abortion rights than not, Republican lawmakers in so-called “red states” have escalated the legal fight since they took over state legislatures in 2010.

“The Republican party has a personal vendetta against women,” said Albert. “I don’t think it has much to do with the welfare of the child, I think it has more to do with the subordination of women.”

In one state yesterday, subordination was not on the agenda. Nevada, which has the first overall female-majority Legislature in the country, voted to repeal requirements that physicians document a pregnant woman’s marital status and tell her about the “emotional implications” of an abortion. The bill now goes to the governor who is expected to sign it.


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    Boulder Joins Nationwide Protests to Stop Abortion Bans KGNU News




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