Dawn Sexton with her granddaughter Cora Hoyt showing their support of pro-abortion on Saturday’s rally. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Dawn Sexton with her granddaughter Cora Hoyt showing their support of pro-abortion on Saturday’s rally. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

‘This is a hill I’ll die on’: Abortion rights advocates rally in Juneau

Organizers held a rally in support of Planned Parenthood Saturday afternoon at Juneau’s a Marine Plaza on Saturday to advocate for abortion access in the wake of the Supreme Court decision last month to overturn abortion case Roe v. Wade.

According to Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates Alaska, the rally was already planned prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling and was more in response to the fact that the case was being heard at all.

Dawn Sexton attended with her granddaughter Cora Hoyt who said they came in support of not just themselves but for everyone this issue might affect.

“I’ve been a PA for 30 years and I can’t imagine going back to the way it was before. This is a hill I’ll die on,” said Sexton.

Hoyt added: “It’s a scary time for me. I’m here for my mom, I’m here for my grandmother, I’m here for everyone.”

Constance Miles and her daughter Robin attended for similar reasons and echoed the sentiment that the decision has far-reaching impacts and implications for other landmark privacy rights cases. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in a cocurring opinion last month stated the Supreme Court should revisit rulings that codified rights same-sex marriage and relationships and the right to access contraception.

“This is important to me as a woman to be able to have the right to make a choice and nobody else can make that for me. Not only does it impact me as a woman, it also can have impacts on the LGBTQ community and marriage equality and all down the line. It’s very important for me to speak out for folks and help advocate for every uterus owner’s rights as well as everyone else that this could impact,” said Constance Miles.

“If abortion got taken away, it wouldn’t just affect people, it could kill people because it’s healthcare,” added Robin Miles.

Many people attended and held signs expressing their objections to the Supreme Court’s decision while several speakers addressed the crowd. Attendees heard heartfelt speeches from Planned Parenthood Alaska Government Relations Manager Morgan Lim, members of the T’akhdeintaan clan from Glacier Bay Jeni Brown and Yolanda Fulmer, Christina Love with the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, John Garcia of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, and former state Rep. Les Gara, who is running for governor.

Gara has made a commitment to protecting abortion rights central to his campaign and has vowed to screen judicial candidates on the issue.

The event was emceed by Juneau drag queen Gigi Monroe and after closing remarks, musicians Dara Rilatos, Sonia Kumar and Kat Moore played a few songs. Everyone who attended was asked to sign banners that were then dropped on display nearby as a way of showing Juneau’s support for abortion rights.

Also in attendance was U.S. Senate candidate Shoshana Gungurstein who came to show support and stand up for the privacy of not only Alaskan citizens, but Americans everywhere who feel their rights have been trampled.

“I really uphold privacy, and this is a very key issue that reflects how we can uphold privacy, not just as Alaskans but as Americans. It’s a great Constitutional value and I think it’s very important that we reflect that,” said Gungurstein.

The Juneau rally took place at the same time as an Anchorage featuring former President Donald Trump, who appointed three justices who were pivotol in overturning Roe.

• Contact Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

Constance and Robin Miles holding signs expressing opinions at Planned Parenthood rally. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Constance and Robin Miles holding signs expressing opinions at Planned Parenthood rally. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Alaska State Senate Candidate Shoshana Gungurstein showing her support of privacy and rights at Saturday’s rally in Marine Park. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Alaska State Senate Candidate Shoshana Gungurstein showing her support of privacy and rights at Saturday’s rally in Marine Park. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Crowd holding signs and showing solidarity at Saturday’s rally. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Crowd holding signs and showing solidarity at Saturday’s rally. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

People gathered at rally listening to key note speakers with signs proudly displayed in support of pro-abortion rights. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

People gathered at rally listening to key note speakers with signs proudly displayed in support of pro-abortion rights. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Crowd attending Saturday’s rally held by Planned Parenthood at Marine Park. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Crowd attending Saturday’s rally held by Planned Parenthood at Marine Park. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

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