Fight for Reproductive Rights Marches On
Olivia Allery, news editor
In response to the Texas Heartbeat Act, a nationwide march for reproductive rights was held on Oct. 2. Also in response, Minnesota legislation is working on passing policies to keep abortions legal in the event that abortion laws get turned over to state government’s authority. This will become even more relevant in the event that the Mississippi Dobbs v. Jackson case is overturned by the Supreme Court and weakens Roe v. Wade even further.
The Minneapolis Women’s March for Reproductive Rights started at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and ended in Loring Park on Saturday Oct. 2. The gathering at Loring Park included guest speakers including Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Yolanda Roth of Take Action MN, St. Paul Representative Athena Hollis, two members of the Freedom Reproductive Legislative Caucus and so many more. The march also included guest performances by Mikko Blaze, a transgender recording artist and karaoke world champion, and Katy Vernon, a pop-folk ukulele artist that has been nominated for Best International Ukulele Artist in Uke Magazine.
There were multiple motivational speeches as a call to action for citizens to stop the unconstitutional infringement on reproductive rights. “We need to vote for expanded and protected reproductive rights for everyone,” said Roth. “Especially those who have been disenfranchised by finance, race, ethnicity, culture, country of origin, gender, mobility, or cognitive ability.” One of the policies that Minnesota is hoping to implement is the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act. The PRO Act would protect any Minnesotans decision on their own reproductive health, which includes birth control, abortions, and pregnancy. This act would also prevent the state from discriminating against any Minnesotan using their reproductive rights based on race, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, country of origin, immigration status, age, religious or disability status.
Also present at Loring Park were a couple of small groups of pro-life supporters. For the most part, both parties remained civil towards one another, but there were still some instigators among the pro-life supporters that wanted to interrupt some of the guest speakers and performers. Roth was interrupted by a pro-life supporter who was yelling at her and even got up onto the stage during her speech. Roth, proceeding on with her speech, decided to first lead the group in a round of chants as the man was escorted away from the stage. The man then continued to try and interrupt Roth by trying to budge through security, screaming and swearing at them and others at the march. Blaze also called out the same man before performing one of his singles from his album “He/Him/His.” “It is because of men like that guy that we are here today, so thank you, sir, thank you,” he said. “I have a bigger dick than yours and I have a uterus.”
If you want to learn more about reproductive rights in Minnesota, you can connect with Auggies Organizing for Choice (AOC), an Augsburg student organization centered on reproductive rights.