March for reproductive rights takes place in Harrisonburg

Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 6:42 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - In downtown Harrisonburg Saturday afternoon, hundreds walked in a protest to protect reproductive rights.

It has been a week since the Supreme Court made the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, but people in the Valley are still marching and protesting to make their voices heard.

“Across the country, it’s a call of action to our leaders who are supposed to be supporting us and representing what we are passionate about,” Maddie Schiller, an organizer of the march, said. “Spreading awareness showing them that this is not ok we’re not gonna stand with this ... We’re not going back in time this is ridiculous.”

Marchers gathered at Liberty Park in Harrisonburg Saturday and made their way through downtown before coming back to Court Square to hold a rally.

“There’s a lot of misinformation spread and it’s really important to just be educated on it and like have conversations about it don’t just generalize it in a category and understand why it’s needed and why everybody should have access to safe and healthy legal abortions,” Eva Merical, an organizer of the event, said.

A spokesperson from the Blue Ridge Abortion Fund said at the rally Saturday, that by the end of Monday they will be out of funds.

“We definitely have seen an increase in support as well as an increase of people seeking abortion care in Virginia,” Valerie Washington, intake coordinator with Blue Ridge Abortion Fund, said.

Mayor Deanna Reed and candidate for congress Jennifer Lewis were at the march and stressed the importance of getting out to vote with the crowd.

“There’s probably people in this crowd that fought this fight the first time right? Do we want to continue to have to show up here and beg for our basic rights? We have an option, we have a choice and that choice starts with voting,” Jennifer Lewis said in her speech to the crowd.

Mayor Reed assured the crowd that Harrisonburg is led by a woman and she won’t stop fighting for these rights.

“It helps me be hopeful that Virginia at least is a start to stay,” Merical said.

As of now, abortion is still legal in the state of Virginia and care is available.

“Virginia is a ... I wouldn’t say safe haven, but it’s a space that people can come to because our abortion laws are intact right now so we do have a lot of people coming into Virginia,” Washington said.

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