NewsLocal News


Hundreds gather for Omaha Rally for Reproductive Rights

Poster image.jpeg
Posted at 10:17 AM, Oct 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-03 11:41:42-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Signs and people filled the area outside the Omaha Civic Center Saturday afternoon for the Omaha Rally for Reproductive Rights.

"We are here today to send a clear and unified message to lawmakers: attacks on our reproductive rights will not be tolerated,” Brandi Bothe with Omaha Women’s March said.

The rally was one of hundreds that took place Saturday across the nation, after the anti-abortion law that was put in place by Texas.

"After the Supreme Court abandoned Texas we all felt that dread and had that creeping realization that Nebraska is next," Associate Director of the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative Dr. Sophia Jawed-Wessel said.

The law bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

"As a person who has been pregnant twice, neither time did I know that I was pregnant before six weeks," Founding Pastor of Urban Abbey United Methodist Church Debra McKnight said.

Speakers at the event say that banning abortion is not only against human rights but is also unsafe.

League of Women Voters of the United States President Dr. Deborah Turner, who has also worked in healthcare for over 40 years, recalled a story from when she was just getting into the field.

"She had undergone an illegal abortion out of desperation. She had three young children at home. Seeing her suffer, and then seeing her die because there was no access to safe abortion in her community, was devastating," she said.

Another point they conveyed was that the state should be focused on educating and providing more resources for younger people.

"Here in Nebraska, we are denying young people the opportunity to learn comprehensive health education that would therefore equip them with the tools they need to practice safe sex,” 2021 Young, Black, & Influential Omaha Award Recipient Michaela Atkins said. “While on the other hand, we have leadership who is actively pursuing anti-abortion laws. Now, if that isn't a contradiction then I don't know what is."

McKnight says religion shouldn’t play a factor either.

"As a United Methodist pastor and as a clergy person, I just really want to be clear that there is space within the Christian tradition to support families as they are making hard choices instead of judging them," she said.

Omaha Women’s March hosted the event alongside ACLU of Nebraska, I Be Black Girl, League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha, Planned Parenthood of North Central States, United State of Women and Women’s Fund of Omaha.