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Marchers Stage ‘Pro Roe’ Rally
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Marchers didn’t let a steady rain keep them from their appointed rounds.
   
Monday, June 6, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Pamela Ridgway was a month away from turning 18 when she became pregnant in 1971. Abortion was not legal and she couldn’t count on support from her family as her father had just died and her mother was fighting breast cancer.

So, she got married even though she knew she and the father of the unborn baby were mismatched. Within a couple years she had gotten a divorce and she found herself marching for abortion rights in Kirkland, Wash.

Saturday afternoon she took up the battle cry again in a March for Our Rights organized as a response to a leaked draft opinion that indicated the Supreme Court was leaning towards overturning Roe v. Wade, which provides the right to abortion.

 
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Jessica Mayne holds the mic for Tess Makena as she sings the self-penned, “She had the choice to make a change, to live a better life in the name of that kid…”
 

“Here we are in 2022, and I’m still fighting for human rights at the age of 69,” she said. “I talk to young women in their 20s and 30s who say they don’t have time to make a difference. I tell them: If you don’t protest and you don’t vote, you won’t have a democracy.”

More than a hundred men and women—some with children and dogs in tow—showed up for Saturday’s  rally, huddling under umbrellas to ward off a steady rain.

“How many times do we have to do this?” Will Caldwell said, as he surveyed a sign that read “We are not ovary acting” and another that said, “My arms are tired from holding this sign since the ‘60s.”

Ketchum artist Jessica Mayne, who organized the rally, said she hoped the rally and march would start a conversation.

 
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Marchers were treated to free T-shirts and bags from Planned Parenthood that said, “I’m a feminist. What’s your superpower?”
 

She recounted how Planned Parenthood had saved her life when she had complications from pregnancy, not only helping her pay some $100,0000 in medical bills but providing her with a care package of formula and other baby necessities.

“Because of Planned Parenthood, we are here and alive and thriving. They got me the help I needed,” she said.

Mayne read a statement from a woman who said she had been raped by an American preppy at an Amsterdam hostel the first night she and her sister embarked on a six-week Eurail vacation. The police arrested the man, but the incident clouded her future relationships with men and left her with post-traumatic stress.

“I did not get pregnant, but I would’ve remembered the rape every time I looked at that child had I gotten pregnant,” she said. “These elected officials have no idea what trauma they’re bringing to all of us.”

 
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Miranda McCurdy pens a sign saying “End Compulsory Pregnancy” as her daughter Addie colors her own poster.
 

Brooke Irby said that she started her life in England where children are exposed to sex education and talk about healthy relationships at age 4. But there was none of that when her family moved to the States.

When she found herself pregnant, her gynecologist counseled her that she was not in a good place to have a healthy baby because she was overweight, depressed and in an abusive relationship. She took two pills, lost 40 pounds in three months. ditched the abusive relationship and went to college.

“Now I have a very healthy beautiful boy and a good life, and I have my abortion to thank for that,” she said. “Do not judge others for the decisions they make because you are not in that situation….be supportive of one another.”

Planned Parenthood’s Paige McMahon told the crowd that all abortions with very few exceptions would be cancelled in Idaho if Roe v. Wade is overturned. She noted that a rally in Boise last month brought 5,000 people to the Capitol.

 
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G.G. Luke and Liz Keegan were among those voicing their opinions.
 

“We are energized, we are mobilized and we’re not backing down,” she said.

McMahon said Planned Parenthood was prepared to help those who would be forced to flee the state to get access to care.

“Abortion is health care. Period,” she said.

Chelsea Lincoln, of Legal Voice, told listeners that those wishing to overturn Roe v. Wade began putting their plan in motion 10 years ago when they started stacking the court. In the confusion, some women cancelled abortion appointments the day the Supreme Court’s draft opinion was leaked; others stop seeking care.

“As of now you can still safely and legally get abortions in Idaho,” she said. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, she added, Northwest Abortion Access could help pay hotel and travel expenses for those forced to seek care outside the state.

Alex de Mauriee said she had marched for women’s rights in the 1960s and burned her bra in the 1970s and never thought she would have to march again after Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973.

“These are the same speeches I heard in the 1960s,” said du Mauriee, who grew up in Seattle. “Now it seems like we’re being dragged through it again. This time around, though, I would rather call the whole movement a ‘humanist movement,’ rather than a ‘feminist movement.’ We need to stop separating people. We don’t hate men. We just want them to take their foot off our necks.”

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