Bigger Than Roe: March & Rally at state capitol

Bigger than Roe March
Bigger than Roe March(WMTV)
Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 11:15 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The National Women’s March in Madison was held at the state’s capitol on Sunday, the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that enshrined a right to an abortion until being overturned last year.

The Madison Abortion And Reproductive Rights Coalition For Health reflected over the bill being overturned by the Supreme Court with the “Dobbs” ruling this past summer.

A large crowd filled the streets of downtown Madison-- lifting their voices. One mom marched beside her two daughters. Mari Howe says women need to lean on each other.

“It’s nice for them to have myself there so we kind of go through things together and talk through the emotions and things they might not be able to talk about with their friends,” Howe said. “Or myself with my friends so it’s good to see they have some support and I also have the support.”

She teaches her daughters to speak up about things they are passionate about.

“Don’t take anything for granted. Keep watch, keep the ears open, keep focus. Make sure everyone is focused on what’s right--what matters,” Howe said.

Marcher Madison Smith says while she hasn’t had an abortion, she wants the women in her life to have the option.

“I’m a mom. I chose to be a mom. I hope others who don’t choose to be moms have that opportunity to make choices on their own,” Smith said.

Organizers specifically chose Wisconsin for their 2023 national march, dubbed Bigger Than Roe, because of the upcoming state Supreme Court elections. On February 21, the primary election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court will be held. And on April 4th, the state will elect a new Supreme Court Justice. If a pro-choice candidate wins this seat, we could overturn the abortion ban in Wisconsin.

On the Women’s March website, they explained the event is aimed at convincing voters to oust the conservative majority leading the current high court and replace it with one that may overturn the 1849 law that went into effect immediately after Roe fell. That law prohibited all abortions in all cases, except in some instances where the mother’s life may be on the line.

Activists are encouraged to gather around the Wisconsin State Capitol on the State Street steps around 11 a.m. with the march scheduled to begin at noon. At 1:30 p.m., a Speak-out is set inside the statehouse in the rotunda. The group states this is part of their effort to put pressure on every lawmaker across the country.

Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a new brief in their direct challenge to Wisconsin’s criminal abortion ban last week. The lawsuit, originally filed by Gov. Evers and Attorney General Kaul in June, came only days after the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, upending the constitutional right to an abortion that Wisconsinites and Americans had relied on for nearly 50 years.

“We shouldn’t be beholden to a law from the 1800s passed well before Wisconsin women had the right to vote,” said Gov. Evers.

The lawsuit challenges archaic abortion statue banning nearly all abortions in Wisconsin, including in cases of rape and incest.

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