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Dozens gather along State St. to protest abortion restrictions

By: Madeline Anderson Email
By: Madeline Anderson Email

Published: Monday, July 15, 2013 --- 10:30 p.m.

Across the country and here in Madison, pro-choice advocates are standing up for a woman's right to legal abortions.

Chanting, "our body, our choice," dozens gathered along State St. and at the Capitol Monday afternoon, picketing and rallying. The event was in response to abortion-restricting legislation in a number of states from down in Texas to here in Wisconsin

"We're here as a group of concerned citizens, many of us have just met today, but we're all concerned about the same issue, and we're here to demand reproductive rights for women," Katie Zama said.

"What I'm doing out here right now is protesting not only the bill that Scott Walker signed into law recently, that enabled the abortion restrictions, but also the laws that were enacted in Texas, the ones that are being pushed through in North Carolina," James Klein said.

"The requirements on doctors having rights at nearby hospitals, that's another way to limit the access of women to these clinics," Zama said.

"It's terrifying. It's become a liability to be a woman with a functional reproductive system in this country," Talia Frolkis said.

"I don't normally consider myself to be an activist, I try to keep my head down most of the time, but it's gotten to the point now where it seems the governments all over the country aren't even listening to their constituents anymore. And when you've exhausted all other options, you go into the street and start making noise," Klein said.

"I think it's really important and I think it's really inspiring that this many people have come out today to defend abortion," Tina Trevino-Murphy said.

"For some people, the thing that they need to remain healthy is to terminate an unhealthy or an unwanted pregnancy," Frolkis said. "And that's a right that shouldn't be taken away."

"It's important that everyone pays attention to these kinds of issues because you never know when it will affect you," Klein said.

"We need abortion on demand, without apology in order to have equal rights for women in this country," Zaman said.

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the new Wis. abortion law Gov. Walker signed into law this month. But he told reporters Monday, he's confident the provision of it that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals will ultimately be upheld in court.

In response to Monday's demonstration, the legislative director of Wis. Right to Life says the law is in women's best interest, and that only abortion providers are to blame if their doctors don't have that access.

"That's a pretty bad reflection on the abortion industry if their doctors can't get admitting privileges," Susan Armacost said with Wis. Right to Life. "It's time for them to step up to the plate and to make sure that they hire physicians.... that they're competent and one way of testing if they're competent is if they can get medical admitting privileges in hospitals."

U.S. District Judge William Conley has a hearing scheduled for Wednesday on a motion by the law's opponents for a preliminary injunction.


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