A rally Saturday at Weigent Park in La Crosse.
It’s part of a nationwide outcry for reproductive rights.
The YWCA-La Crosse, Cia Siab, Inc. and Planned Parenthood Advocates of WI are organizing the La Crosse Women’s March: Rally for Reproductive Rights.
It runs from 3:30-5 p.m. at Weigent Park (map).
The mobilization centers around defending and protecting the right to choose.
Joella Striebel, Public Affairs Regional Coordinator from Planned Parenthood Advocates of WI, explained on Z93 why it’s so important to be a part of this event now. She said there are two big motivations for these events.
“Recently, there was some legislation that’s gone through in Texas that has essentially outlawed abortion for most people, and also the Supreme Court is reconvening on October 4, and in December we’ll be hearing a case that poses a direct threat to Roe vs. Wade so things are pretty serious right now in terms of access to abortion healthcare across the country,” Streibel said. “And particularly in Wisconsin, where we are one of nine states who has a criminal abortion ban on our state laws, both Roe versus Wade is overturned, then abortion becomes illegal across the board in Wisconsin with no exceptions for rape, incest, health of the pregnant person and that sort of thing.”
At Saturday’s event, attendees are asked to wear a mask, and can expect to hear from some speakers.
A local nurse midwife will be talking about abortion healthcare. Wisconsin Assembly Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse) will be there to share a few words. Others will also share their stories.
Striebel said attendees can spend time in space together with people who share values of body autonomy and healthcare access.
A few different organizations will be there with information about the services that they provide, and they’ll have some materials people can use to make signs. Otherwise, just “show solidarity for this movement.”
Striebel also highlighted some of the reproductive health services that Planned Parenthood provides.
“We are very proud of all the services that we provide,” she said. “Abortion healthcare is an important service that we provide, but it’s certainly not the only, nor is it what we provide the most. We provide preventative health care services for reproductive health, cancer screenings for cervical and breast cancer, and contraception.
“At our La Crosse Health Center and a couple of other health centers across the state, we’re now offering gender affirming hormone therapy for our transgender patients, and we also do community comprehensive sex education workshops.
“We offer vaccines related to reproductive health and also have been hosting some of the COVID-19 vaccine clinics across the state. So, we do a lot of different things. We provide really inclusive and welcoming environments in our health care centers that people are really grateful for and we’re really grateful for all the support that we have in the community and across the state.”
If community members are interested in supporting, Striebel suggested going to the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin website to see some of the different ways to contact legislators about these issues and to donate if you wish.
“We don’t have a virtual option for the event itself, but that’s a great way to show up and support, we really appreciate the opportunity to share more about our services and our event,” Streibel said. “We’re so grateful for the support and it’s just really important that people understand that this is a true threat to our healthcare, our reproductive health care access and that it’s time to come together and stand up and fight for it. The majority of people do support access to safe and legal abortion and we just need to make sure that that’s known.”