Dueling protests took place in downtown Kelowna Sunday afternoon after the U.S. Supreme Court voted to reverse a decision from 1973 that any unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional.
Candace Banks organized a pro-choice march from City Park to the steps of the courthouse to fight against the ruling.
“To know that this is my third decade that I have been promoting reproductive rights and that I’ve been fighting for reproductive rights, it’s tiresome, it’s sad, and it just makes me really angry.”
Banks noted how a decision like this by our neighbours will impact us in Canada.
“The [U.S.] controls everything from contraception to the circulation of women’s health needs, and if they are shut down it will mean so much despair for us women here.”
Bev Edwards-Sawatzky joined the march with her husband and a few friends to stand in solidarity with American women after the decision to reverse the Roe v. Wade ruling.
“I’m horrified by the politics of what happened on one day; these nine people decided to not only strike down access to abortion for women they also struck down a state’s right to ban handguns. And they talk about right to life and sanctity of life,” Edwards-Sawatzky said. “Those two pieces of legislation left me really distressed, angry, and I just want to be a part of support the women of the world.”
On the flip side, a group of pro-life protesters gathered outside city hall to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Denise Mountenay attended as a former abortion patient and to spread the message of how abortion impacted her.
“I know the lies that I was told, that pregnant women are told, the pressure to have abortions, and the lies that it’s a safe procedure,” Mountenay said. “There are 61 studies in peer-review medical journals linking breast cancer to abortion.
“We’re here today because we’re excited about Roe v Wade being overturned. We want justice for children, for life in the womb. My message is that abortion hurt me, hurts women, and killed my children, that it’s a wrong and not a right, and the choice to have your baby killed should be unthinkable.”
Things remained civil between the two groups. The march bypassed city hall and RCMP were stationed nearby as a precaution.