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Local women express views on abortion

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People on both sides of the abortion issue gather downtown near Pioneer Plaza Tuesday afternoon to express their views to drivers and passersby. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Local members of both anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights groups demonstrated downtown Tuesday afternoon in front of Pioneer Plaza on Main Street in the wake of increased activity nationwide to pass abortion restrictions.

Five states in recent months have enacted laws banning abortions in most circumstances, including for pregnancies resulting from incest and rape. Anti-abortion movements are finding support in conservative-leaning state legislatures and are planning a challenge to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that established women’s rights to choose in most instances. With the appointment of more conservative Supreme Court justices under the Trump Administration, some believe that the ruling could be overturned now.

Nationwide, a coalition of groups, including Emily’s List and the American Civil Liberties Union, decided to hold a “Stop the Ban Day” to protest the restrictive laws.

Locally about 12 members of Roswell Indivisible, a nonpartisan political group, decided to participate by holding their own rally at Pioneer Plaza. Several members of the local Citizens for Life group also were present to express their anti-abortion views.

“We just felt that we needed to join (in the national protests),” said Margi Camp, “and to show that pro-choice has a voice in Roswell.”

She and Linda Gilmore gave several reasons for their pro-abortion rights position: that birth control sometimes fails, that restrictions could lead to unsafe abortions being performed at the cost of the lives of women, and that society does not do enough to feed, clothe, house and nurture unwanted children or to help women in need care for children.

Marie Sanders, treasurer of Citizens for Life, said that women have many other choices besides abortion available to them if they are dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, including adoption.

“We honestly believe that women have the right to make their own decisions but we also believe in the rights of unborn women,” she said. “When God gives us a child, it is not our right to take that life.”

The rallies were scheduled to run from noon to 1 p.m.