Thousands in Longmont and Boulder speak out for reproductive rights Saturday

May 15—The crowd of more than 2,000 spilled from the sidewalks of Pearl Street Mall and onto the streets of downtown Boulder on Saturday, pausing traffic as they chanted and waved signs.

"Seriously? My mom already marched for this," one sign read.

"Abortion is health care" and, "We are not ovary-reacting" others stated.

The peaceful YWCA Boulder County march brought people together to speak out for reproductive rights in the days since the Supreme Court's drafted majority opinion that Roe. v. Wade may be overturned leaked and sparked protests across the nation.

Boulder police helped block vehicle traffic as protesters poured into the streets.

At Sixth Avenue and Main Street in Longmont, ralliers came together to spread the same message for a Longmont Leads with Love March for Reproductive Rights.

Colorado state law affirms the right to an abortion. The potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, though, has medical workers fearing the strain that could be posed on the system and reduction in care it would mean for some, the Denver Post wrote this month.

Before they marched in Boulder, the crowd gathered at the Boulder County Courthouse on Pearl Street. It was there that Julia Hunt recalled her grandmother's bravery in the '70s when she became an activist for the feminist movement. She asked those in the crowd to summon the courage of those who had come before them.

"I'm marching for my friends, my cousins, my sister and all the little girls out there right now," Hunt said, "because our rights matter, and we will not back down."

As the junior Fairview High School student spoke these words, the crowd around her erupted into cheers.

Hunt continued: "We are the future of this movement, and we are here today fighting to create a better future for ourselves and the generations of women who will come after us, just as our grandmothers fought to get Roe."

State Rep. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder, reiterated what she saw on many of the signs held by those in the Boulder crowd, that "Reproduction is a health care matter."

"The fundamental issue here is that women are treated like public property," Hooton said. "There is no religious doctrine, there is no constitution in this world that says that women are public property whose bodies can be legislated upon, but yet we operate on that assumption."

Peter Genuardi dressed like the Statue of Liberty and held a sign that read, "Abortion = Liberty." The Boulder resident said he joined the march Saturday for his 12-year-old daughter.

"I can't fathom her growing up in a world, where someone forces her to have a pregnancy or a child against her will," he said. "It's about bodily autonomy."

Over in Longmont, ralliers crowded along all sides of the intersection at Sixth Avenue and Main Street. Their efforts garnered apparent honks of support from drivers throughout the afternoon.

Jasmin Disney said she joined the movement Saturday because she wants her daughter, 15-year-old Kendra Disney, to have the same fundamental right that Jasmin has had — a fundamental right, she added, that the Supreme Court approved in 1973 with Roe v. Wade.

"This issue should have been settled already," Jasmin Disney said. "We shouldn't have to fight for what our mothers and grandmothers fought for already. It just feels like we are going backwards."

Her daughter, and later Jasmin's own mom, joined her in the rally.

"As the young generation, it's our job to try and better the world for our kids and families," Kendra Disney said.

Protesters Josalyn and Brad Lamoureux, both of Longmont, are expecting a baby in June. Josalyn Lamoureux fashioned a sign around her pregnant belly that read, "None should be forced to do this."

The couple said a pregnancy brings with it many challenges, and it should be something someone wants and doesn't have to go through if they don't want to.

Josalyn Lamoureux said the right for people to have autonomy over their own bodies was important to her long before she became pregnant.

Like so many who rallied Saturday, the couple shared how fighting for the future generations was a reason to be there.

"We are also having a little girl, so it's important as she grows older that she has those freedoms," Josalyn Lamoureux said.