WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Protests across the country are happening following Friday’s landmark 5-4 Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. Wichita organizers hosted protests and rallies on Saturday as well.
“A gun has more rights than my body and it makes me infuriated,” said Lorysa Prichard, who participated in a protest.
Men, women and people young and old hit the streets of downtown Wichita to make sure their voices were heard.
Protest organizers argue there are still a lot of questions to be answered about abortions. Pro-choice advocates cite health issues like pre-eclampsia, which is a common issue for expecting mothers.
“It doesn’t necessarily save the baby,” Jenny Whiteman, a protest organizer, said. “Both of them could still die from it. Why can we not decide I want to end this and try again for a healthy pregnancy to have a healthy baby to give both of us a chance?”
Victoria Manuel warns a vote in Kansas could be more about protecting all rights when it comes to a woman’s right to choose.
“It will take away from Plan B, birth control, any type of emergency contraceptives,” Manuel, a protest organizer, said.
But the message of Saturday’s protest is clear—to get out and vote on August 2.
A new Wichita organization hopes to rally people to the polls. Kansas Birth Justice Action launched its new program on Saturday, and it’s an initiative created by Black and brown women. Some community leaders believe these groups of women will be the most impacted by the Supreme Court’s recent decision.
The group argues the decision takes away maternal and infant health policies as well as a woman’s right to choose. The advocacy group said it will focus on peer-to-peer networking to build a group of engaged and informed voters in the August election. Organizers will also provide Spanish materials for Spanish-speaking voters to make decisions.
When you look at the systems that affect these disparities, there has to be a voice,” Kansas Birth Justice Action President Melody McCray Miller said. “There has to be a voice that articulates—a voice that is strong and loud enough and has a base that is ready to–what I would call—move on a dime and mobilize in order to ensure that our rights are not only taken seriously but that we voice the fact that we are going to fight for what is right.”
Whiteman said even if the August vote is a challenge to women’s constitutional right to an abortion in Kansas this will still be a victory for pro-choice advocates.
“It shows our children, our grandchildren that they can fight,” Whiteman said. “They can stand up for themselves. They can stand up for their sisters, their aunts–they can stand up for their bodies. We can fight. Regardless if we win, we’re still going to fight. It still means something and it’s still important.
KSN News reached out to several pro-life organizations for comment but have not heard back yet.