Lancaster, Pennsylvania – About 800 Lancaster residents rallied at a court building in Lancaster on Wednesday night to call on U.S. Senator Bob Casey, D-PA, to help pass a law codifying abortion rights into law, in response to a leaked draft document from the Supreme a U.S. court will overturn a landmark 1973 ruling in Rowe v. Wade.
Fiery shouts and interjections from the crowd sprinkled the speeches of local residents, health workers and candidates for office.
“When our right to abortion is attacked, what do we do? Get up, fight back, ”community organizer Savannah Thorpe, who also works for Democratic candidate Ismail Smith-Wade El, told the crowd.
Dr Laura Hatchman, a family doctor at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, expressed disappointment over what she said was medical misinformation that Republicans use to describe their efforts outside the abortion law.
“Just as I strive to provide excellent prenatal care to women, so is my responsibility to help women avoid unwanted pregnancies and eliminate them,” Hatchman said. “Most trained physicians agree that women’s health care requires access to safe and legal abortion services.”
“There are some people who falsely claim that abortion is harmful to women from a medical point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth, ”she continued.
“Termination of pregnancy is as safe as conventional colonoscopy, and it is safer than tonsillectomy and safer than wisdom tooth extraction,” Hatchman concluded. “Women who know how to control their reproductive health have less depression, less anxiety. Forcing women to have unwanted pregnancies leads to lower financial security, lower security at home, and this will generally increase the likelihood of this woman’s death … Health decisions made by some should not be based on other people’s religious preferences or unelected politicians. in mantles ”.
Claire Rainer, a registered nurse in the Department of Labor and Childbirth at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, also in Lancaster, recalled her youngest patient – a 14-year-old teenager – and the experience of her colleagues with pregnant patients aged 12.
“I’m here because we need to make sure people like them have options. I am here for people with complex medical issues that can make pregnancy life threatening. I’m here for people who don’t have a partner and support, I’m here for people who don’t know how they can dress and feed another child. But I’m also here for people who don’t want to have a baby – and that’s it [reason] enough, ”Rainer told the crowd.
Crowd verse when Lancaster resident Meg McFarlane shared her experience of abortion, starting with a 15-year-old high school student in 1962 when a classmate had an abortion nearly died, and she was expelled from school as a result. The girl’s boyfriend, she said, did not suffer the same fate.
“I think about her a lot,” McFarlane said.
In 1966, while working in an office, a colleague had to take a leave of absence when she was seven months pregnant, McFarlane said, because her baby had died four months earlier and she was experiencing complications due to having to endure its up to date because doctors could not legally assist her with abortions.
McFarlane went on to say that in 1967, after giving birth at the age of 20, her doctor gave her birth control pills only after permission from her parents – who had not supported her financially since she was 17 – because she was unmarried and he said he did not want to she gave birth to more children.
“It’s not a moral issue, it’s a health issue. It’s not just about terminating a pregnancy. It’s about sex, about women having sex, and about men wanting to control it – how, and when, and where and why, “McFarlane said. “Women who are pregnant and forced to have children can affect many other things in their lives. I’m about to cry. I want to thank you for taking care of this issue … Please continue. ”
Rally organizers Lancaster Stands Up and Bold Action Works placed volunteers across the crowd with contact information boards for Casey, urging people to call or write to his office. Casey is one of two Democrats in the U.S. Senate who have said they will not vote for a law guaranteeing the right to abortion.
Susie Wurz of Lancaster Stand Up concluded the event by addressing Casey, President Joe Biden and the crowd.
“I want to talk directly to Senator Casey. We spent endless hours getting you to your chosen position, “she said.” Joe Biden – we campaigned for you. Do your damn job. “
“I want you all to remember everyone here today,” Wurz concluded. “Remember who you talked to, remember who you met. And remember, they are your friends in this fight. Because we are not coming back. “
Correspondent Lauren Monelius covers Lancaster for Capital-Star. Readers can follow her on Twitter @El_Manels.