Planned Parenthood Hosts Statehouse Rally Against Abortion Bans
INDIANAPOLIS–Tiffany Brown hadn’t planned to speak at Tuesday’s Planned Parenthood abortion rally, but after listening to others she walked up to the Statehouse stairs and faced the large crowd to tell the story of her abortion.
Brown said she became pregnant after a man removed a condom during sex without her knowledge, leaving her feeling violated and lost. She decided to have an abortion.
“I felt like my body wasn’t my own. I felt like I couldn’t get him out,” Brown said to the crowd.
“No woman should feel like she cannot get a man out of her. No woman should feel like she does not have control of her own body.”
Brown was one of many from the crowd who shared their stories and thoughts Tuesday afternoon. In the overcast weather, a couple of hundred people of different ages and genders filled the south steps of the Statehouse to protest recent abortion laws in several states in a #StoptheBans rally. They held colorful signs that read, “No uterus, no opinion,” and, “I say Roe way.” They chanted “Pro-choice united. We’ll never be defeated,” hoping those inside the Statehouse would hear them.
This event–and similar rallies Tuesday across the nation and in Washington–is a reaction to Indiana’s recent abortion law, which bans a form of second-trimester abortion, and recent enactments of laws in several states that ban abortion after six or eight weeks, make no exception for rape and incest victims and, in the case of Alabama and Missouri, make it a felony for a physician to perform an abortion except when medically necessary.
Indiana’s new abortion law will make second-trimester dilation and evacuation abortions illegal his law, like all other anti-abortion laws passed since 2013, is being challenged by the Indiana American Civil Liberties Union and two OB-GYNs, one of which was in attendance at the rally. Dr. Caitlin Bernard of Indianapolis told the crowd the government is trying to take away safe forms of abortion.
“The laws here in Indiana are already harming Hoosiers. You do not need to look at Georgia and Alabama as if that is the future. It is already here,” Bernard said. “It is only a matter of time before it is right here on our doorsteps.”
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill responded to the lawsuit filed by Bernard and the ACLU by saying in a press release that, “Indiana has a compelling interest in protecting the value and dignity of fetal life by banning a brutal and inhumane procedure.”
Joni Chenoweth, a former physician assistant and director of the Protect Your Sister Project, had an abortion when she was 18. She said she can’t believe that people want to go back to the days before the Supreme Court in 1973 legalized abortion in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
“Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for nearly 50 years,” Chenoweth said. “This is decided the law.”
RaeVen Ridgell of Planned Parenthood, who helped organize the protest, told the crowds to let their state legislators know how they feel about abortion laws. She yelled out the phone numbers of anti-abortion Republican Sen. Liz Brown of Fort Wayne, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis and Gov. Eric Holcomb.
“You call him (Holcomb) and you call him and you call him until he gets it,” Ridgell said. “Because it seems like he doesn’t.”
FOOTNOTE: Emily Ketterer is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.