'This is only the beginning:' Women organize rally after decision overturning Roe v Wade

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.
The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.

"We Won't Go Back" rally is planned in downtown Bucyrus on Monday afternoon.

The rally will begin at 5 p.m. Monday at Washington Square, according to event organizer Hannah McCoy, a Galion resident.

"When I heard about Roe vs. Wade being overturned, I was very upset as a woman, as a human," McCoy said. "I felt like it was an assault on our rights as women in this country to make choices about our bodies and our health care. I think that it's important for every woman to get up and fight right now because things are only going to get worse from here for women, I believe.

"Politicians that are OK with controlling our bodies will likely be OK with controlling other aspects of our lives and we cannot allow that."

Courtney Klein of Columbus signed up to co-host the event after learning about it through an online map of scheduled rallies.

"We're just showing up to get organized, to gear up for what's going to definitely be a long and arduous battle over our economy and reproductive rights," Klein said. "As we know, strength comes in numbers and in particular areas of rural Midwest, it's very vital to show women that they're not alone, that they have a safe space where their voices can be heard. And really to give them the opportunity to recognize their strength and stand up against injustice.

"This is only the beginning; it's not over. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done. I think we all recognize that deep down."

More than 30 people plan to attend Bucyrus rally

As of late morning, more than 30 people had indicated they plan to attend, McCoy said. To her knowledge, no additional rallies have been scheduled nearby — just in Columbus and some of the bigger cities.

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"I was considering having it in Mansfield, just because there may have been a bigger turnout, but I feel like it's important to keep it local to where I live and to allow those who are concerned to rally around all the women locally, because this is an area where abortion access is very limited, even when it is legal," McCoy said. "Especially to the lower-income people in this community."

McCoy — a mother of three — served in the National Guard for three or four years before becoming pregnant with her daughter, who has special needs, she said. "She needed three brain surgeries after she was born and I was honorably discharged from my service."

She said she wants people to know that "we're not going to stay quiet," she said.

"Women are going to rise up, just as they've done throughout history, and do whatever we need to do to make sure our rights are preserved as women in this free country," McCoy said. "We would like, on the state level, to fight any local abortion bans and protect and expand abortion access for all women of all economic backgrounds. We would like, on the national level, to have the Women's Health Protection Act passed so that women's health is protected for women all across the state, county and nation.

"There are people in history who fought very hard to give women the rights that we have today, and that we've had over the past several years, and I don't think it's acceptable for women to sit by quietly — or men — and to allow this to continue to happen," McCoy said.

Now is the time to act, she said.

"We don't have time to sit by and stay quiet, because it doesn't stop here for women," she said. "I think that it's important for everyone to realize that they need to get out and vote while they still can."



This article originally appeared on Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum: Rally for abortion rights planned in Bucyrus Ohio