Hundreds turned out for the July 9 rally advocating for a woman’s right to abortion in Asbury Park’s Springwood Park.
By WILLIAM CLARK
With the overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the United States Supreme Court last month, protests have been springing up nationwide in support of women’s rights.
On Sat., July 9 it was Asbury Park’s turn.
The Bans Off Our Bodies rally brought approximately 500 people to Springwood Park, many voicing their opposition to the decision to allow individual states to decide their stances on abortion.
Speakers and performers addressed the crowd on the importance of choice in terms of healthcare for women and how to engage civically. Garden State Equality, the League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood and Food Not Bombs were on hand to provide information on how to get involved.
Asbury Park Councilwoman and co-founder of the Asbury Park Women’s Convention Amy Quinn said that the rally was meant to be positive.
“We wanted to put on something that would be inspiring that was not going to depress people more,” Quinn said. “We picked a wide range of diverse speakers from a former judge to a gynecologist to the executive director of a domestic violence shelter.”
Quinn, in addition to Jess Alaimo, Asbury Park Councilwomen Yvonne Clayton and Eileen Chapman, Dani Fiori, Michelle Gladden and Navaeh Sickles pivoted from an original date of July 2 due to various high turnout events in Asbury Park. The new date happened to coincide with the date the National Women’s March encouraged demonstrations throughout the country.
The diverse crowd clapped and cheered for each speaker, holding up signs advocating pro-choice stances or criticizing legislatures or judges. Deseree Spinks, Kirsten Blue and Pamela Flores performed.
The crowd was handed an action item list with ways they could help further the cause including organizations to donate to, the importance of voting and running for seats in the government themselves.
After the Supreme Court decision was handed down, several states enacted “trigger laws” that immediately or imminently blocked access to abortions. New Jersey is one of 16 states to have codified access to reproductive care.