On Saturday, October 8, 2022, a reproductive rights rally was held in Great Falls near the federal courthouse. Women and men of all ages and backgrounds joined together to spread their voices.
Event coordinator Garri Mauck was excited about the turnout, citing the pressure the midterm ballots put on the future of public health.
“It's a great day to come out and advocate for human rights and remind people that it's only starting with women,” says Mauck, “We are going backwards. my child is not going to grow up with the same rights that I did. I have a little boy and a little girl, and I’m out here today to ensure their future, to make sure that they grow up in a world where everybody, thinks about everyone else and shares the love and lets people just be people.”
Many women shared their personal stories of the traumas which come alongside lack of reproductive healthcare.
“I’ve lived long enough that I know how it is to have the awful back-alley, coat hanger routine that folks get when they can’t get legal abortion,” says one attendee and Planned Parenthood volunteer, Jane Lawther.
Megan Clement detailed her own experiences as a veteran to capitalize on the importance of true freedom.
“I’m a veteran, and so I served for 16 years in the military protecting all of our freedoms, every single person's freedom in this country. And so when those freedoms are being attacked, it's the best way to to act is to act,” says Clement, “I don't think people realize how much it will affect their lives directly or indirectly. I know a lot of women who have gone through many of those situations and thankfully they were able to get the health care they needed, but with these bans happening in the country, they're not going to be able to have the health care they need to protect them and keep them safe.”
Beth Blessing has attended several rallies concerning Roe v. Wade and continues to be struck by the hypocrisy she feels from her own government.
“Every woman is so different. Not all wombs are alike. Not all bodies are alike, and it shouldn't be a requirement of women that the state can say that they don't care about a medical providers advice or they don't care that you were raped or they don't care that you went through incest. They don't care if you have cancer or something wrong with you that makes it so that you cannot carry,” says Blessing.
As the midterms approach steadily, organizers like Mauck expect to participate in more rallies in the Great Falls area.
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