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Hundreds march in Jacksonville to protest Florida's proposed anti-abortion law

Marchers at Courthouse
Cyd Hoskinson
Marchers for reproductive rights converge on the Duval County Courthouse on Oct. 2, 2021.

Jacksonville activists joined thousands around the country this weekend to show support for women’s reproductive freedom.

Hundreds of people rallied on the Duval County Courthouse lawn Saturday morning, speaking against a proposed state law that they call an assault on the right to abortion, as guaranteed by Roe V. Wade.

Wells Todd with the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition, was one of several dozen men participating in Saturday’s demonstration.

Wells Todd
Wells Todd and Maceo George were among the men participating in Jacksonville's march for reproductive freedom on Oct. 2, 2021.

“Women are going to have abortions no matter what. And we don’t want to go back to the days where somebody uses a coat hanger or a knitting needle to cause an abortion. Roe V Wade, when it was passed, it saved countless women’s lives. And still does.”

The landmark Roe V. Wade decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 guarantees the right to an abortion without excessive government restriction.

Saturday’s demonstration in Jacksonville was part of a national call to action against the new anti-abortion law in Texas and similar legislation proposed in other states.

Siobhan Mackey, her two daughters and mother Judith Higgins rode in a caravan from Mandarin to the courthouse. Higgins referred to Texas law, which which now bans abortions as early as a month after conception.

“I feel it’s almost monstrous...that they’re going to expect young girls who might potentially be raped or violated in any kind of way and refuse them healthcare. And even women in general have the right to decide what goes on in their bodies,” she said.

Michelle Corum
Michele Nelligan, dressed as a handmaid, chats with her mother as they wait for the caravan of the women's march for reproductive freedom to begin from Mandarin Saturday.

The Supreme Court is beginning a new term in which the conservative court may overturn Roe.