WEST HOLLYWOOD — Women and right-to-choose activists rallied in West Hollywood and other cities across the Southland and nation May 21 in opposition to a recently approved abortion ban in Alabama and other legislative efforts seen as challenges to Roe v. Wade.
Outside West Hollywood City Hall, activists rallied in conjunction with protests held across the country, most notably on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Now is the time for us to join the National Organization for Women, join Supermajority, find your tribe and fight this,” Karen Eyers, vice president of Hollywood NOW, told the crowd. “Fight this and let the legislators know that we will not stand for this, that it ends now.”
Lindsey Horvath, West Hollywood mayor pro tem, praised the people who came out to rally in the city, saying they will “lead us in the battle against the forces that seek to divide us, to wear us down, make us give up, give in, throw in the towel. But we will never give up. We will never give in. We will never be silenced and we won’t go back.”
Other rallies were held across the Southland, including in downtown Los Angeles. Hundreds of people also gathered May 21 at the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., one of more than 400 such rallies across the nation.
The West Hollywood City Council May 20 approved an ordinance barring the city from doing any official business with states that have anti-abortion laws on the books. Similarly, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted May 21 to ban official travel to Alabama in response to the law, making exceptions for travel related to emergencies and other matters where the ban would seriously harm county interests.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is also scheduled to consider a resolution in opposition to the measure.
Alabama’s law, signed by Gov. Kay Ivey last week, is the most restrictive of its type in the nation. It bars virtually all abortions, allowing only those necessary to preserve a woman’s life. There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortions can be imprisoned for up to 99 years.
The law is seen as an effort to challenge Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling protecting abortion rights, with anti-abortion forces eyeing the now-conservative-leaning high court as ripe for a challenge to the case.
Alabama Republican state Sen. Clyde Chambliss, who sponsored the bill in the Alabama Senate, staunchly defended the legislation.
“When God creates the miracle of life inside a woman’s womb, it is not our place as human beings to extinguish that life,” he said.