Rally and march calls for Milwaukee to become an abortion sanctuary
Milwaukee, WI – On the afternoon of July 17, about 65 people gathered in downtown Milwaukee to protest in the streets for reproductive justice. This event was led by a brand new grassroots organization named Reproductive Justice Action-Milwaukee (RJAM). This organization arose shortly after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. As a result of the Supreme Court decision, Wisconsin’s State Statute 940.04 defaulted into law. This law is from 1849 and bans abortion unless the mother’s life is at risk. Performing an abortion can result in a Class H felony and a $10,000 fine.
“We cannot and we will not go back. In 1849, when the Wisconsin abortion ban was written into law, women didn’t have the right to vote. Black men did not have the right to vote. Neither had the right to own property,” said Hayley McNeil, a member of RJAM. “Statute 940.04 is archaic and does not serve the needs of the people of Wisconsin. Statewide, we demand that 940.04 be repealed!”
This march was RJAM’s first event. Right now, RJAM’s main focus is abortion access. To this end, they have started a petition to the Milwaukee County board of supervisors to make the area an abortion sanctuary. The petition demands that patients and providers within Milwaukee County won’t be punished for having or performing an abortion. RJAM is demanding that change needs to happen now and not in November when 940.04 is on the ballot in Milwaukee County.
“The 1% wants us to keep having children. They wanna strip away our rights to our own bodies,” exclaimed Lana Akindes representing Freedom Road Socialist Organization. “The people most affected by the repeal of Roe v. Wade are the working class, people who do not have the time, the money, the means to travel to get an abortion in another state. The people most affected are Black, brown and indingenous folks! We’ve had our bodies abused, controlled, sterilized and forced to give birth for hundreds of years.”
The bottom line is banning abortion only leads to more unsafe abortions. Right now, in Wisconsin there are people suffering. This is why RJAM is determined to make Milwaukee County a safe haven for abortion access. Any person within the state of Wisconsin should be able to have access to safe and legal abortion. When the demands in the petition are won, any person within Wisconsin would be able to come to Milwaukee County to receive an abortion without the fear of being prosecuted under State Statue 940.04. The hope is to make abortion safe and legal for all for Wisconsinites.