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Protesters gather in downtown Nashville to rally for abortion rights

Protesters rally for 'Bans Off Our Bodies' day of action
Posted at 9:38 PM, May 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-15 07:05:24-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A sea of protesters gathered at Legislative Plaza Saturday afternoon, joining others across the nation rallying for abortion rights.

"I think what's behind that political hot issue is that ultimately it's around who has the political power to make those decisions around your body," said Executive Director of Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood, Francie Hunt. "Is it the government or is it you and your family?"

The 'Bans Off Our Bodies' protest was one of many throughout the country. In Tennessee, rallies also took place in Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville.

This comes after the recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion revealed the court could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade.

Hunt said, "and that's very troubling for us here in Tennessee because that would trigger a ban here within our own state." Tennessee's trigger law would ban most abortions with very few exceptions.

Armed with signs and megaphones, the crowd marched to the Federal Courthouse where they heard from women who shared stories about their own abortions.

Many expressed their concern for women in Tennessee should the state's trigger law go into effect.

"You can't ban abortions, you can only ban safe ones and- as people who take care of patients in the community-we must take every step that our patients get their health care in the safest and most accessible way possible," said Dr. Ruth Wang, one of several doctors in attendance.

"The more they take it away the unsafer it's going to be," said Barbara Kershaw, who attended the rally with her daughter. "I mean, do you really want women going somewhere to have it unsafe? I mean, that's the whole point of it- keep it safe."

The event wasn't without some push-back. Some pro-life protesters were also in attendance, but law enforcement and security insured the event remained safe for all.

As the future remains uncertain, activists say they'll continue to fight for safe and legal abortions.