'Stop The Bans' Gatherings Held Across The Region

May 22, 2019

Across the country Tuesday, abortion rights advocates gathered at town squares and courthouses to protest recent restrictions to abortion access. Demonstrations also took place here in the Mountain West. In Laramie, that meant standing outside in the snow.

"We're hearty here," said Katy Hartman, who organized the Laramie gathering using the Stop The Bans website. Hartman is a physician and was one of about 25 people that stood with signs in front of the courthouse.

"I think we both need access to reliable contraception and the option of abortion," she said.

There were no abortion rights opponents counter-protesting the event. The crowd was mostly women, but a few men were there who support access to the procedure. Lew Bagby said it's not just an issue for women.

"The issue of choice, this is something that Americans love," he said.

Stop the Ban Demonstrations also took place in Montana, Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. One event in the Denver area was organized in part by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado. Denise Maes with the organization said rallies like this are important, especially for young women who grew up with access abortion.

"There's a sense that once the U.S. Supreme Court says it's a constitutional right, well, you know, heck, it's a constitutional right," she said. "But obviously that has not been the view of our foes. So they continue to chip away at that access and that right."

A number of states have recently passed laws or are considering laws to restrict access to abortion including Alabama's recent law, which bans nearly all abortions with no exceptions for rape and incest.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUER in Salt Lake City, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

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