Rally at the courthouse demands reproductive freedom

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Reproductive rights rally at the Jackson County Courthouse. // Photo by Kristen Thomas

Late in the evening on May 2, phones everywhere lit up with alerts from Twitter to the New York Times regarding Politico’s publishing of a leaked SCOTUS memo.

“Time to schedule that vasectomy. A leaked memo shows the Supreme Court is likely going to overturn Roe v Wade,” I said to my partner of two years, who I love with my whole heart but do not want to reproduce with at 41 years old.

The Reale Justice Network and the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus hosted a rally at 5 p.m. at the Jackson County Courthouse on May 3. Community organizer Justice Gaston was fired up, as per usual. 

She pointed out how she and others had warned us all this was coming at the October rally on The Plaza. Truly, anyone who’s been paying attention knew it, and it still hurts like fucking hell that it’s here. Our right to bodily autonomy is on the verge of nonexistence. 

Rally attendees took turns at the megaphone to express their frustrations at SCOTUS and our legislators. 

An immigrant woman who works in construction pointed out how this is an attack on working women—especially on Brown and Black women—with the chant of, “Working women lead the fight! Safe abortion is our right!” 

Ashley Johnson with the Reale Justice Network pointed out that ectopic pregnancies are up for criminalization as well. These attacks are not founded in science. If they were, then there wouldn’t be bills in Ohio to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy in the uterus (no such procedure exists in medicine), nor would the Oklahoma legislature have a member asking why there’s an exemption for such a medical emergency. 

This isn’t just a fight for women. Men benefit from abortion as well by not having to watch their partners, siblings, parents, or friends die from a pregnancy. Or they simply don’t have to raise a child with someone they don’t love.

One protester pointed out that trans kids are scared right now. Not only are trans individuals some of the most marginalized of our population, they are also four times more likely to experience sexual violence than cisgender folks—that means some men and non-binary folks need abortions, too. 

“I am here for justice,” Johnson says. “When you turn a blind eye to marginalized people, it affects everyone.”

Categories: Politics