No choice? Pro-choice! Women’s march for reproductive rights

Chuck Dickson, Staff Reporter

“What do we want? CHOICE! When do we want it? NOW!” That was the sentiment echoed by several members of the community during a reproductive rights march to City Hall.

On Oct. 2 at 11:00 a.m., over 30 members of the Ellensburg and CWU community gathered outside of Barge Hall to march to the City Hall property. This was done in an effort to bring to light the issues surrounding reproductive rights, abortion and the stance of states like Texas and Florida regarding these rights.

Eponine Romo, organizer of the march, with a bullhorn in hand, led the crowd down University Way onto Main Street, then down 5th Avenue towards the grounds of City Hall. Romo said their passion and belief in women’s reproductive rights was the catalyst for organizing this event.

“It’s important to me, as someone who lives in this country, who has rights that have been guaranteed Constitutional, it’s scary to see those being stripped away,” Romo said. “I think it’s important to know that if you are someone who doesn’t agree with abortions, I totally respect that. But Roe vs. Wade was not the beginning of women getting abortions; it was the beginning of women not dying from abortions. And I think if we lose that, it could be really dangerous.”

As the march occurred, there were instances of solidarity and respect from passing cars, such as honking, shouting and cheering in support for the marchers. There was also a share of opposers. Drivers rolled down windows, booed or put their thumbs down. In spite of any negativity, the protesters continued on, marching and chanting.

Students were also out in support for the march, including second year students Amanda Jackson and Caitlyn Ness. 

“I think [these rights] are important because I am a woman myself, and I think having the right over my own body is important because I live in it every single day,” Ness said. 

Jackson also added, “Nobody should tell us what to do with our own bodies. It’s important to educate yourself about these issues.”

As the march reached the courthouse, several speakers, including Romo and Sara Omrani, an activist in the community, shared their joy and pleasure at the turnout and support for the march and reproductive rights in general. A consensus among the speakers was advocating for people to vote in the upcoming elections, not just at the federal and state level, but at the local level as well.