Women across the country participated in “We Are Women” rallies on Saturday to protest state legislation limiting access to contraception and abortion. Hundreds of advocates gathered in Kansas, Colorado, Virginia, Florida, Arkansas, Idaho, and Oklahoma to demand that lawmakers abandon efforts to undermine women’s health.
“Today’s rally was part of a national movement that has had enough of the war on women,” Kansas rally organizer Kari Ann Rinker said. “Not only do we have a governor who sees fit to sign every piece of anti-choice legislation that crosses his desk, the atrocity is the failure to care for the living, breathing children and families that reside here in Kansas.” Protesters in Virginia carried signs that read “Stop the War on Virginia Women,” “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” and “Va. Gov. McDonnell. The Vaginal Probe Guy.” And demonstrators in Oklahoma — where lawmakers have approved more than 30 anti-abortion measures since the GOP gained control of the House after 2004 — rallied against the state’s personhood measure, noting, “That’s not progress. That’s not even status quo backward.”
The Guttmacher Institute estimates that so far this year, at least 45 state legislatures have introduced 944 measures related to reproductive health. At least 75 abortion restrictions passed at least one legislative chamber, and nine have been enacted into law.