calls for a reproductive rights ring in Ashland | News

know about calls for a reproductive rights ring in Ashland | News

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ASHLAND Voices resounded in the streets on July 4, not in celebration of independence but in protest of lost rights.

People of all genders, ages and backgrounds from across the tri-state area headed to Broadway Square on Monday to let their voices be heard. The reversal of Roe v. Wade and the trigger bill Kentucky had in store prompted the response.

“I want to protect not only my rights, but also the rights of those who come after me,” said Jane Delaney, one of three 18-year-old women who organized the event.

The goal is to codify Roe and other fundamental human rights, Delaney said. She pointed out that the Democrats have had 50 years and they haven’t. She wants people in office who codify reproductive rights into law.

As the event progressed, the crowd grew and spread from Broadway Square to the sidewalks of Winchester Avenue. At various times throughout the afternoon, the group took to the streets, making sure to obey all traffic laws and stay on sidewalks and crosswalks.

“Show me what democracy looks like,” shouted Sierra Hall, another 18-year-old organizer.

“This is how democracy looks!” the crowd would respond.

Posters with the face of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and images from The Handmaid’s Tale fluttered above the crowd. Posters with wombs, hangers and symbols of blood joined the various calls for legal and safe abortion to be restored in all 50 states.

“Pro-life is a lie, you don’t care if people die!” the crowd shouted as they headed down the street to make their voices heard. They could be heard from blocks away.

Mandi Hurley is a women’s rights attorney representing victims of sexual violence and assault.

“I am a woman,” Hurley said. “I am a daughter. I am a sister. And I am a lawyer.”

Hurley spoke to the crowd saying that when she became a lawyer, she took an oath to uphold the United States Constitution. When she took that oath, she understood herself as a person of integrity with equal rights.

“I am no longer a full citizen,” Hurley said.

“If our state government can regulate our bodies … they have returned us to our captors,” Hurley said. the independent newspaper.

It is important to her as a woman and as a lawyer. She shared with the crowd the real stories of those who receive abortions. The high school girl who was assaulted and won’t be able to play her senior softball season. A season she trusted because a scholarship and college depended on her athletic talents.

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Hurley shared that it is not just about women, but that it is in the best interest of society that people have the right to privacy and bodily autonomy.

“We should have the option to control our own destiny,” Hurley said.

Hurley shared that the mentally disabled woman who was raped will not understand the changes that occur in her body and the birth will be traumatic. Hurley encouraged the women in the audience to share her stories. One in four women will receive an abortion, she said.

The attorney said it’s important to be pro-voice as well as pro-choice.

“They don’t understand the women of 2022,” Hurley said. “They don’t know that the decision to abort is laborious.”

She gave the example of a sophomore medical student who has an abortion so she can finish medical school and residency. That woman then goes to work every day saving lives.

“You can’t tell me that woman is anything but pro-life,” Hurley said.

Hurley says that the Supreme Court and others in power are focused on women in 1868 rather than women in 2022.

“We are not the women of 1868, we are the women of 2022!” Hurley exclaimed and the crowd erupted in cheers.

De-escalation team leader Scott admitted to the crowd: “I haven’t been the best man, but I’ve learned and I’ve grown.” He shared that by joining the fight for women’s rights, women trusted him and shared his stories.

“Awful,” he said.

City Commissioner Josh Blanton took the microphone and thanked those who organized the event and those who worked to keep everyone safe.

“What better way to celebrate the birth of our nation than with an old-fashioned protest,” Blanton said.

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He clarified that he is a city official, but he was speaking for himself.

“It’s easy to go halfway through an election year,” Blanton said, but that’s not what his mother taught him.

He spoke to the crowd about reading the opinion and the conversations with his wife, Cesiah Blanton, that followed. Cesiah sat just a few feet away with pride on her face.

Blanton shared about her story of emigrating from Mexico and that she will give birth in a few days. The crowd cheered. As they discussed the decisions made by the Supreme Court, Blanton read the opinion and read the opinion again, he said.

The opinion has already overturned Roe, and is likely to come after contraception, gay marriage and interracial marriage. Blanton sees the writing on the wall, and interracial marriage is an obvious hit close to home for the Blantons, she shared.

“Your rights matter to me,” Blanton told the crowd.

Blanton encouraged everyone to vote. He also told them to examine his sphere of influence. Everyone has clout and talking points besides votes.

“Take this feeling and be inspired for more than just today,” Blanton said.

Charles Booker was greeted at the microphone with a roar from the crowd.

Booker is a Democratic candidate for the US Senate who is running to unseat incumbent Rand Paul.

“I love you,” Booker told the crowd. “And I love equal rights.”

Referring to the Supreme Court decision and Kentucky’s trigger law, Booker said “this is disgusting.”

“It was never about abortion,” Booker said. “They want to take your voice away.”

Booker promised that with him in the US Senate in November, the possibility of ending filibuster and codifying Roe and other rights is real. A victory in Kentucky would give Democrats the numbers to do so.

Booker mentioned Rand Paul’s actions, as well as Mitch McConnell’s, leading to the decision and the loss of rights, among other things. The Democratic candidate and former representative from Kentucky questioned why a poor state like Kentucky has two of the richest politicians.

“I’m not for sale!” Booker exclaimed. “I’m going to be at your side”.

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He shared his stance on lower insulin prices, universal health care, and human rights. Booker encouraged those present not to vote for someone who is unwilling to stand up for their human rights.

“A lot of people don’t count on us,” he said of his home state of Kentucky. He then went on to tell the crowd that he sees value in him.

“You are vitally important,” Booker said. “You matter and you need men who have the audacity to say you matter!”

Booker joined Scott at the microphone. Together, the two men asked the other men in the crowd to give the ladies a break from yelling and fighting, to take their turn.

“Her body,” Scott yelled into the microphone.

“Your choice!” Booker and the rest of the men in the crowd responded repeatedly.

“Our sister’s rights were attacked and they’re coming for everyone,” Scott said.

The microphone opened for the crowd and people began to share their stories. Histories of rape and the need for emergency contraception to ensure completion of law school. She is ready to take the bar exam this month.

A gay man named Jeffrey shared that his mother was at his first protest with him. He said that women have always supported him and that he will support them.

“I’ve been walking for years and I still have miles to go,” Jeffrey said. “We will walk arm in arm to the polls this November.

He pointed to the booth across the plaza where the women were registering people to vote. If someone was nervous, or just wanted him, he would accompany them himself, just asking, she said.

“I’m multi-talented and crazy,” Jeffrey said.

He then led the crowd in shouting “Ditch Mitch!” referring to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

After the speakers, the crowd headed to the sidewalks to share their dissent. Cars honked in support and the crowd cheered each one.

Sabrina Baldridge dated her roommate Kaylie Hatzel. Baldridge said it’s important to her.

“To protect my rights and those of my future children,” Baldridge said. “Bodily autonomy is important.”