Dozens gather in Coeur d’Alene to protest abortion restrictions

More than 100 people gathered in downtown Coeur d’Alene on Sunday to protest the extremely restrictive abortion law that could go into effect as early as next month in Idaho.

“We just want our full rights,” Sicilia Smith said, holding up a homemade sign before the protest began.

The march began Sunday afternoon at McEuen Park.

“It’s really disappointing and they’re not going to stop there,” said Lilly Barnes, an Idaho resident who helped plan the gathering.

“It just doesn’t stop at Roe,” said Ella Greer, another organizer.

Jessica Kaminski marched with her children and their homemade signs, including one of her daughter’s that read, “Guns have more rights than girls.”

“My daughter will earn rights when she’s old enough to make decisions for herself,” Kaminski said.

Kaminski finds it important that her children see people in her highly conservative state who are committed to women’s rights.

The US Supreme Court’s ruling, which relegates decisions on abortion rights to the states, means that a law in Idaho banning abortion with few exceptions will go into effect as early as August 18. That law was challenged by Planned Parenthood in a case being investigated by the Idaho Supreme Court on Aug. 3, according to the Idaho Capital Sun.

The law criminalizes any abortion at any stage of pregnancy, except to prevent the death of the pregnant woman, and not for possible self-harm, or in cases of rape or incest documented with a police report presented to the doctor , according to the Idaho Press. Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit argues that exceptions in the law are so vague that doctors could not determine whether their behavior was consistent with the law.

Barnes and Greer worry that repealing abortion rights will prompt the government to seek to repeal LGBTQ rights, contraception and interracial marriage. Greer says she feels fortunate to live so close to Washington state, where politicians expect an influx of people from other states seeking abortion services.

“It will mostly hit young women and poor women,” Greer said.

Women in the South and other locations farther from states where abortion remains legal will suffer most from the upheaval, Greer said.

When asked how they put together such a gathering, another march organizer, Lili Vae’ena, said she started reaching out to people through social media platforms like TikTok to spread the word and connect with people in to connect Idaho, who were similarly upset. They did a group chat with these people and it got bigger from there.

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