In response, pro-choice activists are taking to the streets Tuesday nationwide—and also in Bend.
Last week, the Alabama legislature passed a ban on all abortions from the moment of conception—with no exceptions for rape or incest. In total, eight states have passed bills to limit abortion this year, according to The New York Times.
“The goal of these appalling and dangerous abortion bans is transparent: to bring a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade to the Supreme Court, and make abortion inaccessible in this country," said Tricia Wilder, Regional Manager of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette Central Oregon.
In Missouri, Rep. Barry Hovis, a Republican, downplayed the gravity of pregnancies that result from rape, saying on the House floor that most of the cases he investigated during his time as a police officer were "date rapes or consensual rapes." Hovis later walked back his statements, telling The Washington Post that he believes there's no such thing as "consensual rape."
The U.S. Senate, meanwhile, is holding hearings to debate a 20-week ban on abortions nationwide.
“The goal of these appalling and dangerous abortion bans is transparent: to bring a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade to the Supreme Court, and make abortion inaccessible in this country," said Tricia Wilder, Regional Manager of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette Central Oregon on Monday. "We will be fighting to make sure they never go into effect — and doing everything we can to protect our patients’ health and lives.”
In that landscape, local activists are joining a nationwide movement to push back against the moves to restrict abortions in the U.S.
Indivisible Bend, Central Oregon Women’s March, Vocal Seniority and the Deschutes Democrats are planning a rally Tuesday on "Peace Corner," on the corner of Greenwood Ave. and Wall St. in downtown Bend.
The rally starts at 5:30 pm Tuesday, May 21.
"Reproductive rights are essential for achieving gender equality. Reproductive freedom means having affordable access to all reproductive health care options, including birth control and abortion care," was the message in a press release sent Monday from Indivisible Bend. "It also means supporting people who choose to work while pregnant and those raising families. Attempts to strip away reproductive freedom represent an attack on the fundamental humanity of girls and women."
People can find the locations of other rallies nationwide at stopabortionbans.org.