Pro-choice supporters rally at the corner of Main St. and Hwy 16 May 25. (Thom Barker photo)

Pro-choicers rally

Organizers say it’s not just about abortion

Pro-choice supporters in Smithers rallied May 25 in support a woman’s right control her own body.

Jessy Taggart, a rape victim who organized the gathering at the corner of Main Street and Hwy 16, said recent events have underscored the continuing need for these kinds of campaigns.

“With the new laws about abortion down in the States, we’re really upset,” she said. “Nobody should tell a woman what to do with her body.”

Taggart is referring to the recent spate of so-called “heartbeat” abortion bans enacted in six states, which make abortions illegal at approximately six weeks, the point at which the pulsing of embryonic cells that later develop into a heart becomes detectable.

Since Donald Trump elevated Brett Kavanagh to the Supreme Court of the United States many legislators in conservative states see the shift in balance as an opportunity to challenge Roe v. Wade, the seminal 1973 decision that established a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion.

Although no mainstream political party in Canada wants to touch the abortion debate here, she said it is nevertheless necessary to raise awareness of the issue.

“We just recently had a protest, a bunch of women supporting anti-abortion,” she said, referring to a pro-life advocates holding signs along Hwy 16 a couple of weeks ago leading up to the annual March for Life held May 9 by groups across the country.

“Once they start telling women what to do with their bodies in one place it’s going to trickle up and when the government gets involved in what we do with our bodies, that’s where things go wrong.”

But it’s not just about abortion, Taggart said.

“It’s about rape, it’s about victim shaming, it’s about body shaming, it’s about not teaching your kids consent, not teaching your kids that they can speak up if someone’s touched them or done something wrong to them.”

The protest on the weekend was also personal for Taggart.

“I don’t think that someone that’s raped should be forced to have their attacker’s child,” she said. “It’s the anniversary of my rape last year, so it really hits home for me. I have never had an abortion, but I would never tell anybody else what to do with their body.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Jessy Taggart had a personal reason for organizing and participating in a pro-choice rally May 25 at the corner of Main Street and Hwy 16. (Thom Barker photo)

Pro-choice supporters rally at the corner of Main St. and Hwy 16 May 25. (Thom Barker photo)

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Most Read