That was the message at a rally quickly put together today in front of the offices of Little Rock Planned Parenthood clinic. There, some 50 men and women (and at least one teenager) held signs and chanted their support for women’s civil rights and anger at the situation that the state of Arkansas has created for women who don’t want the church or the state making personal health decisions for them.

Organizers of the rally, including clinic activist Christina Mullenix and clinic manager Holly Salem, told the crowd of the sad chore today of calling women who had jumped through all the ridiculous hoops the so-called “right to lifers” in the state legislature have enacted — waiting periods, ultrasounds, etc. etc. — and telling them they had to cancel their appointments for medicinal abortion. Medical abortion, a combination of two pills, is the safest abortive procedure there is and one that for now is UNAVAILABLE ONLY IN ARKANSAS, thanks to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The women who had appointments now have these options: Go the surgical route — and get a far more involved and vastly more expensive surgical procedure — at Arkansas’s lone clinic where it is offered, or leave the state. The surgical procedure, it should be noted, is less risky than childbirth, but women’s health is not, despite what the governor and attorney general say, what motivated Arkansas’s terrible abortion laws. They know that to be a true statement, but they persist in pretending to care about women.

Advertisement

Ali Taylor of the Arkansas Abortion Support Network told the ralliers that her organization gets 10 calls a week from women seeking help in obtaining an abortion. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals might take note of those numbers if they think there’s a magic sum needed to allow women to exercise a constitutional right.

The folks then took their signs and voices to the corner of University Avenue and 12th Street and waved them at the passersby. There were lots of honks and thumbs up, one thumb down and one guy making a gagging sign. We guess the idea of women’s rights makes him want to throw up. At any rate, the gesture stirred laughs among the women instead of whatever the driver hoped to provoke. 

Advertisement