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Pro-choice advocates protest new Missouri abortion law

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Pro-choice advocates protest new Missouri abortion law

Protesters gathered at noon Tuesday in downtown Columbia and vowed action on the abortion law passed last week by the Missouri legislature.

House Bill 126 outlaws all abortions at eight weeks except in cases of medical emergencies, according to previous Missourian reporting. The bill has not yet been signed by Gov. Mike Parson, but he has said that he will sign the bill.

Kay Metcalf chants along with protesters voicing opposition to the abortion law

Kay Metcalf chants along with protesters Tuesday outside of Columbia city hall voicing opposition to the abortion law passed last week by the Missouri legislature. The recent legislation regulating abortion in Missouri, Alabama and Georgia spurred protests nationwide.

Tuesday’s demonstration in front of city hall was organized by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Mizzou and CoMo for Progress. Lyra Noce, chair of the Boone County Democrats, urged approximately 50 people in the crowd to make their disapproval known at the ballot box.

Lyra Noce speaks to the crowd gathered in downtown Columbia

Boone County Democratic Central Committee leader Lyra Noce speaks to the crowd gathered Tuesday in downtown Columbia. Missouri’s House Bill 126 outlaws abortions at eight weeks except in cases of medical emergencies.

“I will do everything in my power to elect people who will stand and fight for my right to make medical decisions between my doctor and myself,” Noce said.

The event attracted a variety of ages and genders.

Susan Pereira, a physician who joined the gathering, said she has been pro-choice since the 1970s. She spoke to the crowd about her lifetime of activism.

Susan Pereira speaks to a crowd

Columbia physician Susan Pereira speaks to a crowd during the nationwide Stop the Ban protest Tuesday outside City Hall in Columbia. Pereira is a family medicine doctor and an advocate for all women’s rights to an abortion.

In reference to the most recent abortion bans, Pereira said, “I’m furious and I’m scared and I’m sad. ... It’s appalling to me.”

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega stands with her service dog

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega stands with her service dog as she listens to a speaker during the national Stop the Ban protest Tuesday in Columbia. About 50 people protested on the corner of Broadway and Eighth streets.

Mike Garrett attended the rally to advocate for the rights of his young daughter, who he said is “coming into womanhood very soon, and I couldn’t sit it out knowing that my mother, her grandmother, has more rights than she does.”

Magdalena Johnston rejected the idea that outlawing abortions after eight weeks would be beneficial to the health of mothers and children.

“If they wanted to make this world better, they would be giving us sex education, they would be giving us free birth control, they would be putting stricter laws on rape,” Johnston said, “if they really wanted to fix the issue, but they don’t.”

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed

  • Reporter for the Columbia Missourian. I am a senior studying investigative journalism and political science. Reach me at mmhtgb@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720. See more of my work at mollyhart.org

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