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Democratic candidates speak at La Crosse rally aimed at preserving women’s choice



About 200 people in La Crosse joined residents of other cities around the U.S. to rally for abortion rights.

Demonstrators holding signs gathered outside the La Crosse County courthouse on Thursday, on both sides of 4th Street, to protest against an apparent plan by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, running against Ron Johnson for U.S. Senate, was among Democratic candidates who spoke to the crowd.

“I find it very hypocritical when a lot of these politicians say that they’re pro-life,” Barnes said. “Well, if they’re pro-life, why’d they mismanage the pandemic?”

La Crosse County Democratic Party chair William Garcia told the crowd that Republican Johnson has led efforts to “pack” the Supreme Court with conservatives, for the purpose of outlawing abortion.

Area Congressional candidate Deb McGrath also was among the speakers.

“I’m the only mom in this race,” she said, “and I say hell no, Roe won’t go,” leading spectators in a chant.

McGrath said “women get this done” in Washington, along with “men who love them.”  

Democrat Deb McGrath, running for Congress, speaks to audience at La Crosse rally on Thursday

Wisconsin state Sen. Brad Pfaff, another 3rd District U.S. House candidate, said the GOp-led Wisconsin state legislature — which has already been done for the year for two months now — must take a vote to preserve abortion rights.

Wisconsin “will go back to an 1849 law, that bans everything” related to abortion if Roe is overturned, Pfaff told the crowd. “The legislature in Madison has to act.”

After the courthouse rally, protesters walked down to the riverfront, carrying posters promoting women’s rights.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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