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Arkansans leading from the front in the fight for Roe

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Speakers at Friday’s protest at the Arkansas Capitol offered a menu of reasons why abortion rights are fundamental, and why the fight for women’s rights has to go on.

Those reasons include science, faith, morality and the quest for racial justice. Oh, and also simply that what women do with their reproductive organs is none of your business.

Rep. Jamie Scott (D-North Little Rock)

Brian Chilson
Rep. Jamie Scott (D-North Little Rock) addresses the crowd at the June 24 rally as Rep. Vivian Flowers (D-Pine Bluff) captures footage for posterity.

“Since this ruling, two of my friends have called sharing their personal stories in tears. Black and brown women are more likely to die from pregnancy related issues, and I have to say that, because I am a Black woman who stands in this Capitol, there’s only four of us in the House, and representation matters. Banning abortion nationwide could possibly lead to a 21% increase in the number of pregnancy related deaths for women, and increase 33% for Black women.”

Dr. Chad Taylor

Brian Chilson
Dr. Chad Taylor turned it up for reproductive rights at a rally in early June (pictured here), and again at the June 24 protest.

“Today I’ve been criminalized, and I don’t even perform abortions. The health care that I provide in the interest of moms, particularly moms of color, puts me at risk of becoming a felon. Losing my right to vote, getting a fine and going to jail. And I have three little words to say: Bring it on. I will fight for what is right for the health care of women yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

Sen. Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock)

(Props to the Times Record for capturing the video clip linked above.)

“If we think we can get by by continuing to make it normal that we just show up when we get angry, we would be sorely mistaken, and as somebody has said, ‘We have to keep showing up.’ We are here because somewhere we had the mistaken belief that as long as it’s them and it’s not me, everything is OK. How is that working out for us? It’s not working out. So what we have to be sure we do, is understand what Dr. King warned us about. When rights are taken away from one of us, they are taken from all of us.”

Sen. Clarke Tucker (D-Little Rock)

Brian Chilson
Sen. Clarke Tucker shows up for women’s rights.

“Regardless of what you believe spiritually, every single person here physically was created by a woman, every person here was brought into this world, nurtured and nourished by a woman. So doing right by women is not only the morally righteous thing to do, it’s also better for everybody. Because if we do right by women, we’re doing right by every child, and eventually that means we’re doing right by every person on the face of this earth.”

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