Dozens of people showed up to protest Alabama’s new abortion law on the corner of Alabama 202 and Noble Street on Tuesday.
“This protest is in response to the horrendous bill that Alabama just passed concerning banning abortions,” said Sheila Gilbert, chair of the Calhoun County Democrats. “This law stifles women’s rights, and women and children will suffer because of it.”
Approximately 50 protesters made their way from Noble Street to Quintard and back over to the federal courthouse on 12th Street Tuesday evening.
The law they were protesting contains no exceptions for rape or incest and includes felony charges for doctors who perform abortions. The bill does allow abortion when the pregnancy poses a “serious health risk” to the woman. The law takes effect in about six months.
No counter-protesters were apparent during the march.
Cliff Andrews said he was marching to support women’s rights.
“Old white men made these decisions for you,” he told the women at the start of the protest. “I’m standing here as an old white man that supports you.”
Gilbert said the state should be concerned with the health care of women and children instead of “something that takes away basic rights.”
Braelyn Edwards said she was happy to see the protest in a mostly Republican county.
“It’s great to see people out supporting feminine rights and supporting women in general,” she said.
Organizers said people concerned with the issue should register to vote to remove current representatives from office.
“This never should have been a political issue,” Dee Crumly said. “We need to raise Cain until the day the Supreme Court decides to take the case. We can’t be bashful anymore.”
Some of the protesters said they believe the law infringes on women’s basic human rights.
“I’m marching because I’m afraid that I could be raped and forced to carry a baby that disfigures my body that I don’t want,” Hannah Underhill said. “And then I couldn’t put the baby up for adoption because of the state of our foster system.”
Emma Wilson said she participated in the Women’s March in Washington last year but “didn’t think this would be something I would deal with.”
Wilson said she encourages others to be active beyond arguing on social media.
“Arguing online doesn’t do much,” she said. “People need to get out and talk to each other.”
Pam Howard, running for a seat in the Alabama House next year, said she believes the bill is a waste of taxpayer dollars.
“The government doesn’t have the right to take away our established rights,” she said. “Especially when it is going to cost the taxpayers money on the lawsuits.”