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Dozens gather in Coeur d’Alene to protest abortion restrictions

July 11, 2022 Updated Mon., July 11, 2022 at 9:04 p.m.

By Jase Picanso The Spokesman Review

About 100 people gathered in downtown Coeur d’Alene on Sunday to protest the highly restrictive abortion law that could take effect in Idaho as early as next month.

“We just want our full rights,” said Sicilia Smith, holding a homemade sign before the protest began.

The march started Sunday afternoon at McEuen Park.

“It’s really disappointing and they aren’t gonna stop here,” said Lilly Barnes, an Idaho resident who helped plan the gathering.

“It just doesn’t stop at Roe,” said Ella Greer, another event organizer.

Jessica Kaminski marched with her children and their homemade signs, including one held by her daughter that read “Guns have more rights than girls.”

“My daughter deserves to have rights when she is old enough to make decisions for herself,” Kaminski said.

Kaminski feels it is important for her children to see people supporting women’s rights in their heavily conservative state.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling throwing the decisions on abortion rights to the states means an Idaho law banning abortions with few exceptions will become effective as early as Aug. 18. That law has been challenged by Planned Parenthood in a case that will be considered by the Idaho Supreme Court on Aug. 3, according to the Idaho Capital Sun.

The law makes performing any abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony, with exceptions only to prevent the death of the pregnant woman, and not from potential self-harm, or in cases of rape or incest documented with a police report provided to the doctor, according to the Idaho Press. Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit argues that exceptions are so vague in the law that medical practitioners would be unable to determine if their conduct complied with the law.

Barnes and Greer worry that overturning abortion rights will result in the government attempting to overturn LGBTQ rights, contraceptives and interracial marriage. Greer says she feels lucky to be living so close to the state of Washington, where politicians are expecting an influx of people from other states seeking abortion services.

“It will mostly affect young women and poor women,” Greer said.

Women who will suffer the most from the overturning live in the South and other areas farther from states where abortion will remain legal , Greer said.

When asked how they put together a gathering like this, another march organizer, Lili Vae’ena, said she started to contact people via social media platforms like TikTok to spread the word and connect with people in Idaho who were similarly upset. They made a group chat with these people and it grew larger from there.

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