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.”

 

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

Telkwa Coun. Matthew Monkman steps down

Village administration recommends late November, early December by-election

Council backs return of Smithers Steelheads

Town grants the club the arena concession, approves a beer garden and will pay for centre ice logo

Northwest couples compete at His and Hers golf tournament in Prince Rupert

Kitimat and Smithers couples take home the hardware

100 years since the surrender of Simon Gunanoot

The famed Gitsxan hunter was a fugitive for 13 years

Smithers celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

The day included dancing, singing, a moose call contest and a soapberry ice cream tutorial.

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from B.C. furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Rising gas prices force B.C. residents to rethink summer road trips: poll

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

Most Read