Live: ‘Stop the Bans’ rally in Juneau

Live: ‘Stop the Bans’ rally in Juneau

Live coverage of today’s rally.

  • By Alex McCarthy Juneau Empire
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:26pm
  • NewsLocal News

12:45 p.m.

There was a small counter-protest during the rally, about four or five people. Photographer Michael Penn snapped a pic:

Tyler Riberio holds a counter protest during a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Tyler Riberio holds a counter protest during a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

12:41 p.m.

The rally has ended. Co-organizer Alyson Currey ends with a chant, “Show me what democracy looks like!” The crowd responds, “This is what democracy looks like!”

People attend a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

People attend a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

12:35 p.m.

Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, is speaking about Eastman’s bill: “This bill has not much of a chance under the current leadership. That’s why leadership matters.”

Live: ‘Stop the Bans’ rally in Juneau

12:30 p.m.

The crowd keeps growing here, with maybe a couple hundred strong. People are spilling all the way to both Fourth and Main Streets, and the sidewalks are mostly taken up.

12:28 p.m.

A chant from the crowd:

12:25 p.m.

A few more pics from the scene today:

People attend a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

People attend a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

People attend a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

People attend a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

People attend a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

People attend a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

12:20 p.m.

Here’s a video of Hannan’s speech:

12:18 p.m.

Here’s a look at the rally’s turnout:

12:15 p.m.

Hannan is speaking now: “I am so sorry we are all together today for this reason.” She said she never thought we’d have to go back to talking about coat hanger abortions in this country. “What we have is a war on women,” she said. She said she wants to uphold Roe V. Wade for future generations.

12:10 p.m.

Reps. Jesse Kiehl and Sara Hannan (D-Juneau), Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) and Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson are here. Alyson Currey started off the rally, saying “What do we do when we’re under attack?” The crowd responds, “Stand up, fight back!” She called this wave of legislation “egregious” and mentions that there have been demonstrations around Alaska in response to Eastman’s bill. There was a demonstration outside Eastman’s office in Wasilla, which drew a big cheer from the crowd.

Rep. Spohnholz is also here. She’s the one who said she wouldn’t hear Eastman’s bill.

12:02 p.m.

Here’s a snapshot of why some of the women are attending the rally:

12 p.m.

People are gathered at the steps of the Dimond Courthouse plaza across the street from the Alaska State Capitol in downtown Juneau to rally in resistance to national and local attempts to ban abortions. Here’s a few pictures from staff photographer Michael Penn on scene:

A woman who wished not to be photographed waits for a rally against anti-abortion laws to start at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A woman who wished not to be photographed waits for a rally against anti-abortion laws to start at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Women attend a rally against anti-abortion laws, wait for the rally to start at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Women attend a rally against anti-abortion laws, wait for the rally to start at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Heidi Ceruto waits for a rally against anti-abortion laws to start at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Heidi Ceruto waits for a rally against anti-abortion laws to start at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

As part of the Stop the Bans National Day of Action, organizations around the country are holding rallies at noon Tuesday to show their opposition to bans on abortion.

Fifteen states, including Alabama (which has garnered the most national attention) and Missouri (which passed the most recent one, this past Friday), have passed bills criminalizing abortion. These bills will be put to a constitutional test, as the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade ruled that state regulation on abortion is unconstitutional.

Alaska Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, introduced a bill last week that would criminalize abortion, prompting a fiery statewide response on the issue. The bill can’t be heard until next January at the earliest because the regular legislative session is over. Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, D-Anchorage, told the Associated Press on Friday that the Alaska House Health and Social Services Committee (of which she is a co-chair) will not hear the bill.

Read more here: Rally to push back at attempts near and far to ban abortion

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