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Women's group marches to Houdini Plaza, holds rally for reproductive rights

The protest comes nearly two years to the day after U.S. Supreme court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Posted at 9:57 PM, Jun 23, 2024

APPLETON (NBC 26) — It's been almost two years to the day since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. But, one Appleton women's group wants everyone to know the fight for abortion rights isn't over.

  • Appleton Area National Organization for Women, or Appleton Area NOW, held a protest advocating for women's reproductive rights
  • Nearly 100 people gathered at Pierce Park before marching to Houdini Plaza, meeting up with further protesters to share their demands

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story, with additional details for the web)

In 2022, the U.S. Supreme court decided in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization to overturn Roe v. Wade. This took away a federal right to abortion and left the issue up to the states.

In Wisconsin, abortions are banned after 22 weeks. However, abortion rights are currently under dispute in state courts.

One Appleton group is gathering on the second anniversary of the Dobbs decision to bring attention to the issue with a march.

"It shouldn't be in the hands of legislators that don't really understand all the reasons why abortions should be necessary," said Irene Strohbeen, President of the Appleton Area National Organization for Women. She helped organize the protest.

Sunday afternoon at Pierce Park, the group held their first major protest. Nearly 100 people showed up, from young kids to women as old as 90.

But, there were also some men in attendance too.

"I do not want to see the era of backstreet, back alley abortions to happen again. Too many women were injured and maimed as a result of not getting proper care," Carl Hujet lamented.

Later on, speakers shared their thoughts with the hope of gaining momentum for future demonstrations.

But overall, it's an issue that Strohbeen said she can't believe is still going.

"This was a conversation that was happening in the 70's," Strohbeen said. "Here we are 50 years, later talking about the right to birth control. Just amazing."

I reached out to Wisconsin Right to Life for comment. I received a response from Gracie Skogman, Legislative and PAC Director:

“The pro-life movement is focused on providing support and service to women and their preborn children. True empowerment of women and girls means offering safe housing, comprehensive healthcare for her and her child, and the reminder that she can have her child and achieve her dreams. This is the message and mission of the pro- life cause and Wisconsin Right to Life.”

Appleton Area NOW says they've got more events planned on the state and federal level for women's rights. You can learn more by going to their website here.