Residents of all ages took to the streets of Atchison to participate in the Women’s March for Solidarity on Saturday. The event began with a rally at the corner of 10th and Main St. where marchers were joined by campaign teams of pro-choice politicians running for midterm elections this November.
Since August, when Kansas residents overwhelmingly voted “no” to amending the state constitution to include abortion bans, the conversation turned to the upcoming election in November where residents would once again be the deciding factor in whether access to reproductive healthcare will be barred or remain intact.
Josie McCullough, an Atchison resident and co-organizer for the event, emphasized the importance of using her voice for issues that are important to her.
“For myself, for my daughter, for everyone that I know with a uterus I feel like this is something I have to do,” McCullough said. “Some people can’t use their voice for so many reasons, so if I’m able to I’m going to.”
The event was advertised on Facebook as minority and LGBTQ+ friendly, two groups that tend to be at the forefront of modern-day discussions surrounding reproductive justice. In just 2020, Black women were almost three times more likely to die in childbirth than White women. In addition, transgender people are more than four times more likely to be victims of violent crimes including rape and sexual assault.
Tom Alonzo, a representative from Equality Kansas, was present at the march and touched on the importance of intersectionality when talking about anti-abortion legislation.
“We support all of our siblings. We support women and other people’s right to determine medical care that they need without judgment,” Alonzo said.
Equality Kansas is a statewide organization whose mission is to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The event concluded with supporters marching down Main and Commercial St., unified in chants such as “Bans off our bodies!” and “Gay, Straight, Black, White: All unite for women’s rights!”.