know about Milwaukee Protesters Call for Abortion Access and Boycott on July 4
For those who gathered in Red Arrow Park Monday morning, the usual Fourth of July traditions of backyard barbecues and neighborhood parades were replaced by protests and activism against the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“We are standing up for women’s rights and human rights,” said Jennifer Shevey, who attended the protest with her father and sister. “That’s more important than celebrating the 4th of July right now.”
Hundreds like Shevey gathered in the park in downtown Milwaukee for the People’s Independence Day protest. The crowd included everyone from a little boy in a wagon to Shevey’s father, George Kuhagen, a grandfather in a wheelchair.
Protesters marched to the US Courthouse and Federal Building on Wisconsin Avenue, holding homemade signs. His chant echoed through the streets: “My body, my choice.” “Keep your rosaries out of our ovaries.” “Hey, hey, ho, ho, the Supreme Court has got to go.”
Many onlookers watched from the sidewalks, others from the shop windows where they worked, the passage of the mass of protesters through the streets.
After arriving at the courthouse, protesters heard speakers from the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Protect Our Rights Milwaukee, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Moms Against Gun Violence, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and Reproductive Justice Action Milwaukee. .
Speakers and protesters called for the repeal of Wisconsin State Statue 940.04that criminalizes and prohibits abortion throughout the state.
Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban went into effect on Friday, June 24, on the heels of the Supreme Court overturning its landmark Roe v. Wades from 1973.
The law prohibits all abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother.
Plus:Is abortion legal in Wisconsin? This is how the annulment of Roe v. Wade Affects Wisconsin Abortion Laws
“It’s so outdated,” said Carly Klein, one of the protest organizers. “This statute was written before women had the freedom to vote.”
Under State Statute 940.04, any person, other than the mother, involved in the performance of an abortion can be found guilty of a Class H felony.
the penalty fee for a Class H felony can be up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Although Gov. Tony Evers said he would grant clemency to doctors prosecuted under the statute, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Republican opponents of the Evers governorship have vowed to enforce the law.
“As a teacher, it’s very upsetting because I know, especially my younger students, if something happens to them and they get pregnant, they don’t have a choice now,” said Ashley Ellis, a middle school teacher.
Ellis added that she has taught eighth graders who graduated from high school pregnant.
Nothing ‘worth celebrating’
When Amy Voss of Waukesha first learned that Roe v. Wade had been overruled, she said her initial reaction was “pure anger.”
“I am angry that my daughter now has fewer rights than I do,” said Amy Voss, who attended the protest with her adult daughter Jennifer Voss. “My mother fought for these rights and now I have to do the same for my daughter, for my nieces, for my friends.”
In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, Amy said that she and Jennifer will not celebrate Independence Day this year and will instead enjoy a home-cooked dinner together.
“I don’t feel like there’s anything worth celebrating right now,” Jennifer said.
Juan Reyna said he hasn’t celebrated the 4th of July since he was a child.
He attended the protest because he believes it is important for men to “give their voice” to abortion issues.
“Even though I am a man… these are just basic human rights,” he said.
Amy Voss said it’s also important to remember that it affects transgender and non-binary people, and Klein said it’s a racial justice issue.
Klein believes that black and brown people will “undoubtedly” bear the brunt of the criminalization of abortion.
“When we look at it through a historical lens, it is the Black and Latino communities that have been policed and criminalized the most when something becomes illegal in this country,” he said.
Plus:Here’s what we know about what the Roe decision will mean for abortion care in Wisconsin
Plus:Abortion ban makes things worse for black maternal health in Wisconsin, pregnancy specialists say
Two of the main demands of protest organizers are that law enforcement not enforce the state’s abortion ban and that the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County dismiss abortion cases.
in a june Marquette University Law School Survey of more than 800 Milwaukeeans and Wisconsinites, 58% of those surveyed said they supported legalizing abortion in most or all cases.
“I hope we can get our voices out to politicians and show that the vast majority of people are in favor of abortion,” Klein said.