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On Saturday, October 2, in lieu of a national Women’s March, hundreds of cities and towns – both rural and urban – across the country gathered in person or virtually for the Rally for Abortion Justice, largely spurred by SB 8 in Texas, and the upcoming fight to defend Roe v. Wade. 
 
As one of the premiere leaders in fighting for abortion access, Planned Parenthood organizers and staff led coordination of many demonstrations. All in all, there were over 650 rallies across the country, sending a strong message that attacks on abortion access is not the will of the American people. 
 
Planned Parenthood staff organized large events in Indianapolis and South Bend, despite the rain in Indiana that day. Many participants decorated their umbrellas with pro-abortion rights messages. In Indianapolis, comedienne Chelsea Handler gave a speech at Lugar Plaza at the City-County Building in support of access to abortion. Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville, and Fort Wayne were also a part of the 15 different rallies in Indiana. 
 
In Kentucky, Louisville and Lexington were among the commonwealth’s eight rallies, along with Covington, Frankfort and Paducah. Louisville’s event in particular experienced harassment from several counter-protester groups. Kentucky’s Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey was one of many leaders in attendance and noted Kentuckians are particularly concerned about abortion rights in the upcoming months as an anti-abortion constitutional amendment is scheduled to appear on ballots in 2022. 
 
In Alaska, supporters came out despite heavy snowfall that day. In Anchorage, supporters showed up by the hundreds, and the Fairbanks event included a car parade through significant flurries. Events were also organized in Soldotna, Juneau, Bethel, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Palmer, Petersburg, Seward, Sitka, Utqiagvik, and Valdez for people to broadcast their support of safe, legal abortion.  
 
In cities across Washington state, supporters showed up in droves to participate in a variety of events. The largest events were in Seattle, Everett, Tacoma and Olympia, and 34 total rallies occurred in the state from Spokane to Port Angeles. The Seattle rally featured over 110 different organizations and focused on centering BIPOC voices, according to the Daily UW
 
In Idaho, rallies were held in Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Grangeville, Idaho Falls, Moscow and Pocatello. Planned Parenthood organized the rally in Boise in collaboration with several other organizations. Idaho is one of the states with a “trigger law” that would ban all abortions should the Supreme Court weaken Roe v. Wade, and a separate six-week ban similar to Texas’s SB 8 will be triggered if a similar ban is upheld in another federal district court. 
 
In the state of Hawai’i, rallies were held in Honolulu and on the big island of Hawai’i, in Hilo, Kailua-Kona, Kaunakakai, and in Pa‘auilo. Abortion care access was a central topic, and many supporters in attendance expressed the difficulty of travel between islands to access care and the need for more providers in Hawai’i. 
 
All of the rallies sent a powerful message: That protecting access to safe, legal abortion is popular in all states. 
 
Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said, “Abortion is health care, basic health care, essential health care, health care that cannot wait... This year alone we have seen nearly 600 restrictions in 47 states. So no matter where you live, no matter where you are, this fight is at your doorstep." 
 
Chris Charbonneau, PPGNHAIK Chief Executive Officer, expressed similar sentiments in her Sept. 10 op-ed in the Seattle Timesin which she states: “The fact that the Supreme Court decided to take up the Mississippi case, coupled with a six-week abortion ban going into effect in Texas, is cause for alarm. This is not a drill. The time to act is now.” 
 
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Tags: protest, abortion access