Editor’s Note: The organizer of the event was a juvenile and our policy is not to disclose the names of minors without parental consent and the names of alleged sexual assault victims.
On Saturday, July 16, community members and area visitors gathered in the ball courts next to Hazard City Hall to take part in a peaceful protest against the recent settlement of the Roe v. Wade through the US Supreme Court.
During the protest, Liv Harp spoke about a ballot measure, scheduled for a vote in November, that will determine whether abortion is a right granted by the Kentucky Constitution; Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC) provided water and voting resources; and Joseph Palumbo provided a sound system. Event organizers had set up a voter registration booth and resource information.
The main organizer of the event, a 15-year-old person, said they did
Several friends came to them for help on how to get plan B and condoms, information on where to get abortions and what home remedies work as contraceptives.
“I was scared because my friends are not educated on this stuff and they could easily hurt themselves very badly and I really didn’t want this to happen to the people I care about,” said the organizer of the protest.
“The main purpose of the protest was to raise awareness about the fall of Roe v. Wade,” said the organizer of the event. “What I liked about the fall of Roe v. What really inspired Wade was the fact that I’m transgender myself and if I ever got pregnant that would affect my rights because I didn’t want to have babies.”
The organizer said about 50-60 people attended the event.
“It meant so much to me because I’m a personal victim of sexual assault and abuse in general,” the protest leader said. “This issue means so much to me because children don’t deserve to go through this and children shouldn’t have their rights at 15 in fear. It was really nice to see the mix of adults and children and people showing up willing to help, especially in this area where I’ve felt so isolated for a long time. It was amazing to see the outreach.”
Holding events like the peaceful protest, the organizer said, helps educate people about current issues.
“It might not make a sudden difference and it might not make a huge difference, but I still feel like it can make a difference,” the protest organizer said. “We are intentionally left uneducated for so many different reasons and there aren’t many resources that are widely known in this area and I feel like if we had more public, loud education, people would listen.”