Rights rally – Reproductive rights supporters hold impromptu rally in Silverton

May 2022 Posted in Community, News

By Melissa Wagoner

When Christie Diacetis learned of the possibility that Roe v. Wade was under threat of being overturned, she decided to speak out. In the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case the justices ruled the Constitution protects a woman’s right to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

“I just got fired up,” Diacetis recalled.  The leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe written by Justice Samuel Alito was published May 2, and from that moment on the media has been awash in speculation on what will happen when the court’s final opinion is released this spring.  

“This feels so unprecedented, what is happening in our lifetime. I started thinking about our kids and grandkids,” Diacetis said.

The reproductive rights rally at Town Square Park in Silverton on May 3.

Which is how she ended up, at 5 p.m. on May 3, leading a rally of her own creation, at Town Square Park in Silverton, in the hopes that others who were similarly concerned might join her in voicing their feelings.

“[S]how support for reproductive rights…” she wrote in the Facebook invitation. “The more the merrier…” And so, carrying signs and wearing the color green, the international symbol of support, they did – nearly a dozen women, men and teens. 

“I think it’s one of the most important things that’s happened in my lifetime – and that’s saying a lot,” one woman, the oldest in the group, said. 

While another, 19-year-old Audrey Higby agreed. “I’m here because, I’m only 19, but in the years since I’ve been able to understand politics, I’ve seen more steps toward fascism.”

“As a teenager it’s very scary to have your rights taken away,” 17-year-old Jahne Heinzman added. “We shouldn’t have men making rules for us. I feel like it’s your body, your choice. That shouldn’t be taken away.”

Similarly, Sarah, a nurse who asked that only her first name be used, said, “I just feel like it should be the woman or the couple – maybe along with their doctor – who make the decision. I just think it’s so frustrating – especially as a healthcare provider – because it’s something that we need to have available in a safe and legal way.”

While the group recognized – even as they stood on the bridge adjacent to the park, holding signs and waving at passing cars – that this small rally would not change the minds of the justices, they did hope it would get the attention of their own community.

“There are people that don’t really pay attention to the news – and this is really important,” Elizabeth Wilder, a women’s health counselor at a prison said. “Because people don’t think about their rights until they lose them.”

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