Stop the Abortion Bans Rally Gathers Abortion Supporters Outside the State House on the First Day of Legislative Session
Pro-choice groups gathered people from across the state to tell state legislators to keep abortion legal and accessible
Montgomery, AL - Today marks the first day of Alabama’s legislative session, more than 50 reproductive health, rights, and justice supporters from across the state gathered for a rally on the steps of the Alabama State House to advocate for abortion access. The rally was led by Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates and URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity.
“As I speak, Alabamians are dying from real public health problems that need our attention and lawmakers have the power to change that,” said Staci Fox, President and CEO at Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates. “I urge Alabama lawmakers to take this opportunity to expand access to health care - not restrict it. Alabama’s state motto is ‘we dare defend our rights.' That’s exactly what we did last year, that’s what we are doing here today, and that’s what we promise to keep doing this year.
The rally was named the “Stop the Abortion Bans,” in response to ongoing attempts by Alabama lawmakers to ban abortion access in the state. On May 15, 2019, Governor Ivey signed House Bill 314 into law. The bill would impose a near-total abortion ban in the state beginning November 2019. While this abortion ban is being challenged in court and has been temporarily blocked from by a federal judge, the future is still uncertain. This uncertainty is what prompted the rally, which participants used to urge state lawmakers to expand people’s abilities to access a full range of reproductive health care, including abortion.
“We know that abortion is safe and essential health care and yet, year after year, politicians make a sport of denying more and more people access to abortion care throughout our state,” said Courtney Roark, Alabama State Policy & Movement Building Director at URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity.
Currently, Alabamans face serious barriers to ending a pregnancy and a wave of confusion caused by legislators seeking to ban abortion completely. Politically motivated restrictions on abortion in Alabama force people to delay care, make multiple, medically unnecessary appointments, and listen to scripted misinformation written by anti-abortion politicians. These barriers cause the greatest harm to young people of color and LGBTQIA+ young people.
Both advocacy groups say vow to keep fighting for access to the full range of health care in Alabama to ensure that every person can get the health care they need - safely and affordably.
Photos from the rally can be found at the following link and may be used without alteration. Please attribute to Bianca Stega: