“Defend Roe Rally” draws 250 to downtown protest: “It’s not just about protests — VOTE!” speakers say

By Jan Worth-Nelson, Tom Travis and Paul Rozycki

Chanting  “We are not your incubator,”  “No uterus, no opinion,”  “Keep your laws off my body,” “My body, my choice,” “Abortion is health care,”  “We want Roe,” and  “We’re not going back” among others, about 250 Flint-area citizens marched from the Flat Lot in downtown Flint Saturday to the Genesee County Courthouse, where they heard speeches from a half dozen area activists on reproductive rights.

Haley Orange,29, of Flint, said she wore the “Handmaid’s Tale” outfit, because “it’s pretty accurate on how things are going to go if Roe V. Wade is overturned.” With Katelyn Plociniak, 24. (Photo by Jan Worth-Nelson)

It was the “Defend Roe Rally,” sponsored by the Women’s Coalition of Michigan and Women’s March, a national organization that organized more than 200  simultaneous similar events around the country.

“We are not your incubator,” “No uterus, no opinion,” “Keep your laws off my body” “Her body, her choice” “Abortion is health care” “We want Roe” “We’re not going back” were among chants shouted along the route. (Photo by Jan Worth-Nelson)

The event was put together following a leak from the U.S. Supreme Court suggesting that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that guaranteed women’s right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy, is likely to be overturned.

Estephanie Ward of Flint, co-chair of the Genesee Count DSA, speaks to fellow protesters gathered at the Genesee County Courthouse in downtown Flint. it’s not just abortion that’s on the line — it is so much more than that. Miranda rights, gay rights, marriage equality, school integration. They are coming for everything…I’m sick that I have to be out here fighting for my fundamental rights. It is also important that we legislate. We are one of the states that once Row falls, abortion will no longer be legal in Michigan. (Photo by Jan Worth-Nelson)

The afternoon, under hot sun just before a rainstorm hit, was characterized by loud cheers, some angry, in support for abortion rights and resentment about government interference in women’s lives.

Erica Jones 20, of Flint, one of the event organizers, said: “If you hate abortion so much, just don’t get one. I will not stand for letting your religious views decide my fate, because you are not pro-life, you are forced birth.”
Echoing a recent comment by Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock, she added, “The office of my OB is too small for me, the doctor and the entire fucking government.” [In a Dec. 6 debate in Georgia, Warnock said, “I happen to think that a patient’s room is too small a place for a woman, her doctor and the U.S. government. I think there’s too many people in the room.] (TT: Here’s the link for that quote if you want to copy it into WordPress: https://www.savannahnow.com/…/raphael…/6529810002/

Petitions circulated among the crowd called for an amendment to Michigan law that would forestall the reinstatement of a 1931 law that banned abortion.  It would take effect immediately if Roe is overturned, petitioners explained.

The woman holding the “No Country for Old Men” flag is Estephanie Ward of Flint, one of the organizers of the march today. Organizers said about 500 people RSVP’d for the event; they estimated about 250 appeared for the rally and march. (Photo by Jan Worth-Nelson)

The rally goers heard from two young women of color, a longtime Flint civil rights attorney, a beauty queen, a dancer, a Flint City Council person and a co-chair of the Genesee County Democratic Socialists of America.

Frankie McIntosh, 23, of Flint (Photo by Jan Worth-Nelson)

Event planners had expected possibly to be visited by opposing anti-abortion protestors, and had included security in their planning, but by the time the event wrapped up, they said no opposing protestors had been in evidence.

Flint City Councilperson Allie Herkenroder (Ward 7) participated in the Defend Roe v Wade march. In her speech, Herkenroder said, “I am PISSED OFF. I am pissed off that I have to be out here fighting for our fundamental rights AGAIN. I am 27 a elected official and we all need to do our part o keep abortion safe and legal, that means running for office kyourself, supporting candidates who think like you…that means looking across the nation looking for candidates in the red states who need our help to keep women safe: in Texas, Georgia. Do more than just portest. Nothing matters unless we go to the polls and vote. We have to vote because what right is next? We have a fundamental duty to go out and vote.(Photo by Jan Worth-Nelson)

The following are photos from Saturday’s March to Defend Roe in downtown Flint by EVM (East Village Magazine) Columnist and Political Commentator Paul Rozycki.

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EVM Consulting Editor Jan Worth-Nelson can be reached at janworth1118@gmail.com.

Author: East Village Magazine

A Non-profit, Community News Magazine Since 1976

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